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Germany Monitor

In the "Germany Monitor" series we address political and structural issues which have great significance for Germany. These include commentaries on elections and political decisions, as well as technology and industry issues, and macro-economic topics which go beyond the business cycle matters addressed in "Focus Germany".

97 (31-40)
December 9, 2015
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Analyst:
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]
31
December 3, 2015
Region:
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]
32
November 26, 2015
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Analyst:
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]
33
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]
34
August 13, 2015
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Analyst:
In March 2015, the 28 European Heads of State and Government committed themselves to creating an Energy Union. In principle, the commitment to even stronger cooperation on energy and climate issues is a step forward, even though the decisive impetus came from grave concerns about potential gas supply disruptions as a result of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. The current discussion also indicates that the Energy Union should initially focus on the further improvement of natural gas supply in Eastern Europe. The further development of infrastructures and markets for grid-based energies are likely to become target areas as well. By contrast, contentious topics such as the nuclear phase-out in Germany and country-specific subsidy programmes for renewable energies are unlikely to be a target area yet. We thus expect an incremental policy of small steps, i.e. by no means a rapid and radical transformation of the European energy sector as a whole. [more]
35
July 31, 2015
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Analyst:
The total passenger volume at German regional airports decreased steadily from 2010 to 2014. In a longer-term comparison, the volume in 2014 was barely 5% higher than in 2005. During the same period, the larger German airports experienced growth of 25.6%. The range of flights available at most regional airports remains small. Therefore, the anticipated positive effects on the local economy are small, as are the transport benefits. With few exceptions, regional airports have been in the red for about the past ten years. In 2013, for example, none of the airports discussed in this paper was able to show a profit. Looking ahead, we remain sceptical with regard to expansion plans at regional airports. It would still be preferable if the federal government were the competent authority on the fundamental question of whether and where airport capacities should be expanded. [more]
36
June 24, 2015
Region:
Clients with a migrant background are growing in importance as a target demographic for retail banking. In collaboration with Bayreuth University we have carried out an empirical analysis of risk attitudes in this customer group using data supplied by the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP). Our findings allow implications to be drawn for bespoke advisory services for clients with a migrant background. In effect, banks will be able to raise the quality of their financial advice to the customer's benefit – and tap into a key growth market at the same time. [more]
37
June 9, 2015
The time is ripe for established banks to transform themselves into digital platform-based ecosystems. With their current digital strategies the banks will not achieve the resounding success that will enable them to hold their own in the medium to long term. Not only certain business models, distribution and communication channels, products, services and processes, but especially the ways data are handled need to be rethought and redesigned. Implementing a fundamental reform attuned to the digital age will provide the opportunity for traditional banks to learn and adopt the strengths and particularly the monetarisation strategies (walled gardens) of the successful digital ecosystems. [more]
38
May 27, 2015
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Analyst:
The period up to 2025 offers the German steel industry good prospects for a stable and economically sound future. However, this requires policymakers to take a reasonable approach to the further development of the regulatory framework for steel producers and their customer industries in Germany just as it requires only a modest level of expansion in steel capacity at global level. There are also other conceivable scenarios with greater risks, challenges and consequences for the German steel industry and its employees – and these alternatives are in no way completely improbable. [more]
39
May 26, 2015
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Analyst:
At sectoral level, the positive effects of the euro's current weakness are clearly outweighing its drawbacks. Capital equipment manufacturers are benefiting the most from the increasing price competitiveness offered by Germany as a business location. In 2014, the automotive industry generated 45.5% of its total revenue from non-EMU countries, while the proportion for the mechanical engineering sector was almost 43%. Parts of the electrical engineering, chemicals and pharmaceutical industries are also especially benefiting from the recent devaluation in the euro. [more]
40
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