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Germany

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.

231 (121-130)
October 2, 2015
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Although the external and the financial environment have deteriorated we have lifted our 2016 GDP call to 1.9% (1.7%). Drivers are stronger real consumption growth due to lower oil prices/stronger EUR and the surge in immigration which should ceteris paribus add about ½ pp to consumption (split between private and public). The risks are mainly external (EMs). We lower our forecast for German inflation (national definition) in 2015 and 2016 to 0.3% and 1.3% from 0.5% and 2.0%. The relatively large adjustment for 2016 is due to the weaker inflation development in H2 2015 and due to our expectations of a weaker dynamic in 2016. [more]
121
September 21, 2015
Region:
In German corporate lending business, the role played by the different banking groups varies considerably between individual industries. For instance, a relatively large share of loans to the manufacturing sector – and particularly the "core" of German industry, mechanical engineering and automotives – is provided by commercial banks. Lending to construction and agricultural firms, on the other hand, is dominated by savings banks and cooperative banks. The retail banks have also gained significant ground in the services sector over the past 10 years. Landesbanks have only two strongholds, utilities/mining and transport. [more]
122
September 17, 2015
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Analyst:
Augmented reality is far more than the much-discussed smartglasses that are equated with horrific dystopian scenarios in which everyone is under surveillance. The fact is that augmented reality supports people in their day-to-day activities, extends their perception and facilitates communication. That is why it is important not to write off the technology in its entirety, simply because of one individual application, but instead to seize the highly attractive opportunities presented by this fast-growing market. German companies, however, would probably do well to offer customised services for commercial applications in niche markets where the tech giants have not become established. [more]
123
September 17, 2015
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Analyst:
The healthcare sector uses advanced digital equipment that is supposed to accelerate medical progress and at the same time ensure economic efficiency. However, the gaps that exist are extremely worrying. In many highly developed advanced economies, and especially in Germany, there are already signs of the coming challenges connected with predicted population ageing and the associated shortage of doctors and the pressure on costs in the healthcare system. Here, technological progress in all its facets, from teleconsulting right through to 3D bioprinting, can dampen the increase in healthcare costs without adversely affecting quality. However, before this potential for boosting macroeconomic efficiency can be tapped there are economic, legal and societal obstacles that need to be surmounted (with regard to data protection, remuneration systems, education and network expansion, for example). The first steps in the right direction have already been taken – albeit with extreme caution and circumspection in some of these cases. In this respect it can certainly help to take a look at the industrial sector where digital technology is already making inroads under the “Industry 4.0” moniker. [more]
124
September 4, 2015
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Free trade stimulates economic activity in all the signatory countries. The free trade agreement between the EU and South Korea is a relatively recent example providing evidence of this fact. In H1 2015, German goods exports to South Korea were up by more than 50% on the level before the agreement came into force in July 2011; by contrast, total German exports increased by merely 13% in the same period. True, German imports from South Korea fell during this period. However, this was due to two sector-specific one-off effects. Stripping out these effects, the imports rose at an above-average pace. The positive economic stimuli should also be a strong argument in support of the current TTIP negotiations. [more]
125
September 1, 2015
Region:
GDP growth accelerated slightly to +0.4% qoq in Q2 with disappointing details. The domestic economy was a drag due to the decline of investments and an inventory reduction. Consumption slowed. Net exports were the major growth engine. German exports benefitted from the weaker EUR and strong demand especially from the US. We cut our Q3 GDP growth forecast slightly to 0.4% qoq. Despite this downward revision, we modestly increase our 2015 GDP forecast to 1.7% due to the marginal upward revision of H1 numbers, and changes in the growth composition. Fundamentally our outlook remains unchanged. Domestic demand, esp. private consumption, is the primary growth driver and the external environment remains challenging. [more]
126
August 27, 2015
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What is the story with the carbon bubble? How great is the risk of conventional energy company valuations plummeting on account of ambitious climate protection policy? There may be many reasons for investors to channel less money into "fossil fuel companies" than before or to abandon them altogether and opt for other types of investment instead. However, one should not put too much stock in the reason being an ambitious, reliable and internationally comprehensive climate protection policy or a global decline in demand for fossil fuels. A carbon bubble is an unlikely development in such an environment, especially since the evolutionary nature of climate protection policy and technological changes in the energy sector offer the respective companies opportunities to adapt over time. [more]
127
August 17, 2015
Region:
Big data is a hot topic. The large digital platform operators in particular have long recognised the economic potential of algorithm-based data analysis. They demonstrate this to billions of customers professionally every day. With their analytical technologies they generate high revenues and tie us loyal customers ever more firmly to their platforms via convenient and, above all, individualised services. A steadily growing number of companies want to imitate this lucrative lock-in effect so they can also capitalise on the benefits of big data. Nonetheless, in many sectors the implementation of modern data analysis tools is proceeding only sluggishly. Contrary to the expectations of some market participants, big data is not a simple add-on. [more]
128
August 14, 2015
Region:
For the average German a sack of rice falling over in China has long been none of his business. In the meantime, however, the importance of events in China for the German economy has come to be recognised. China's unexpectedly weak economic indicators and the fluctuations in the Chinese stock market have increased the scepticism over recent months about whether China will achieve the growth target set by the government for this year of around 7%. Our China economist remains confident that the Chinese economy will stabilise following expected GDP growth of nearly 7% yoy in Q3 thanks to the support measures instigated by the government. However, German exporters are already having to contend with a marked softening of demand from China. [more]
129
August 11, 2015
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Analyst:
Given the merely average state of communications infrastructure in Germany today, this country could fall behind in the international competition to attract investment. This worry is exacerbated by the fact that even within Germany there is a risk of a significant gulf developing between the regions. However, while broadband expansion is indeed making progress in the densely populated regions, major challenges exist in rural regions with respect to return on investment. When it comes to bridging systemic profitability gaps, the government will have to step into the breach if such projects are also to progress. The funding additionally earmarked in the federal budget and the revenues currently generated from "Digital Dividend II" should provide stimuli for expansion. However, despite government aid it must always be clear that broadband expansion can only be profitable in the first place if modern networks are complemented with modern services. [more]
130
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