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Germany has recovered well from the global financial and euro crisis. To make sure that the future challenges are successfully addressed, a balance between sustainable growth and social participation are essential. To achieve these objectives further reforms are needed as well as an improvement of the macroeconomic framework. Policymakers, businesspeople and the public must face up to their responsibilities. DB Research analyses the economic and political conflicting ideas and incorporates possible solutions into economic and political outlooks. These are based on national sector research, global business cycle and financial forecasts as well as the assessment of international political developments.

212 (91-100)
December 22, 2015
The manufacturing sector's stock of foreign direct investment (FDI) added up to some EUR 251.1 bn in Germany in 2013. This is equivalent to more than 27% of total German FDI. The data is collated on the basis of the specific business sector to which a German investor belongs. The statistics incorporate the following direct investments of domestic companies and private individuals: firstly, direct cross-border share capital or company voting rights of 10% or more. Secondly, stakes in foreign companies are taken into account if the directly and indirectly (that is via dependent holding companies) held share capital or voting rights exceed the 50% mark. [more]
December 16, 2015
The German economy was extremely stable over the course of 2015, although the volatile newsflow that ranged from the oil price shock, material euro exchange rate depreciation, “Dieselgate” right through to the refugee crisis could make one think otherwise. Driven by a 15-year high in private consumption growth economic output rose by more than 1 ½% in 2015, as already achieved in 2014. Economic growth is set to accelerate to nearly 2% in 2016, following a pretty stable trend over the course of the year. Private consumption should remain the most important growth driver. Public consumption will remain expansionary given the continued influx of refugees and resulting public spending. If refugees can be successfully integrated into the labour market, the refugee crisis will provide Germany's ageing society with a medium-term opportunity. [more]
December 9, 2015
As digital processes reshape commerce and social life, payment service providers are striving to offer users instruments to transfer funds in a way that matches this immediacy and ubiquity. With the payments market in such a flux, the ECB is pushing banks to provide at least one pan-European instant payment solution in order to prevent a re-fragmentation of the Single Euro Payments Area. However, instant services can be based on different technical set-ups: closed-loop, open-loop and decentralised payment networks. There is an opportunity for new technologies and providers to cater for user needs and win market share. Innovation in instant payments will not alter the economics of payments, though. Positive network externalities and economies of scale in electronic processing will probably lead to a consolidation around a few instant payment systems in the long run. [more]
December 3, 2015
Industrial output in Germany is likely to expand by around 0.5% in real terms in 2015. For 2016, we expect growth close to zero. This means the sustained phase of relatively muted economic dynamics of industrial output seen since 2012 would continue. The rather stable development of producer prices in recent months also provides evidence that would indicate subdued industrial activity. Our forecast for industrial output implies that manufacturing’s share in total German gross value added will shrink for 2015 and 2016. [more]
November 26, 2015
The logistics sector in Germany is characterised by innovative and diversified companies as well as very good location factors. There are, however, economic and structural factors which suggest that turnover growth will be relatively moderate over the next few years. Between 2003 and 2008 sector turnover grew by a nominal 4.6% per year. Following the recession, that is from 2009 to 2014, the growth rate dropped to 3.4% p.a. (while the inflation rate was somewhat lower). Over the next five years average annualised nominal turnover growth is likely to be more in the range of between 2% and 3%. This would propel sector turnover through the EUR 300 bn barrier. The logistics sector will remain a focus of state regulation; this is true particularly of the important transport segment. [more]
November 19, 2015
In the German manufacturing sector real net fixed assets in 2013 were 0.8% lower than in 2000. Looking at the average, however, masks the fact that only four out of 19 manufacturing sectors expanded their capital stock compared with 2000. The major importance of the automotive industry is striking. Its net fixed capital formation exceeded that of all other manufacturing sectors combined between 1995 and 2006 and has done so since 2009. The auto industry boosted its real net fixed asset in Germany between 2000 and 2013 by nearly 38%. In the energy-intensive sectors, by contrast, the capital stock in Germany continues to shrink, a trend that has been ongoing for years. If economic policy conditions in Germany were to deteriorate in future, we would expect manufacturing companies to invest even more heavily abroad. [more]
November 13, 2015
The influx of refugees has raised net immigration to Germany to the record level of more than one million. Among the OECD countries, this trend could put Germany ahead of the United States, traditionally the No. 1 destination country for migrants. As a result, Germany faces the difficult − and costly – Herculean task of integrating the refugees and absorbing the supply shock to the labour market. At the same time, the refugees represent an opportunity for rejuvenating an ageing population in Germany, where there is a growing scarcity of labour and the threat of lower structural growth. In our outlined win-win scenario, successful integration offers Germany the opportunity to consolidate its position as Europe’s economic powerhouse and to increase its attractiveness as an immigration country. A sustained high level of net immigration will attenuate the decline of the trend growth rate brought on by an ageing population. Instead of moving closer to stagnation, the trend growth could still amount to 1% in ten to 15 years as well, which would also benefit social systems. [more]
November 5, 2015
Since the last Focus Germany, some disappointing economic data have been published that fuelled the speculations around a slowing German economy. We do not believe that this requires revisions of our GDP forecast, though. Just like last year, the weakness of the industrial data is overstated by holiday effects. Nevertheless, there is a risk of an even lower foreign demand than stated by our already cautious estimates. This, however, is balanced by the upward risks for the domestic economy. Due to the migration dynamics over the summer months, we are reducing our budget forecasts for 2015 and 2016. Relative to gross domestic product we now expect surpluses of 0.3% and 0.0%, respectively (previously 0.7% and 0.5%). [more]
October 19, 2015
Contrary to what some critics say, traditional banks would be well advised to start using digital and algorithm-based data analysis instruments now. In future, this will be the only way they can offer their customers personalised financial services and recommendations and continually optimise their internal processes. Should they hesitate, however, the technology-driven, non-bank market newcomers will continue to extend their information lead and in time begin to offer more financial services (also outside the retail banking segment) that are easy to standardise and automate. The latter would further intensify cut-throat competition in the financial industry and could reduce traditional banks in the case of some financial services to pure-play infrastructure providers with declining customer contact. The introduction of so-called recommendation algorithms should be accompanied by the mandatory consent of the customer and transparent communication on how they function. [more]