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Barbara Boettcher

More documents written by Barbara Boettcher

80 (37-48)
February 6, 2018
Region:
37
The economy continues to steam ahead, with quarterly GDP growth of 0.5% qoq in the winter half. A tight labour market and swelling order books are boosting the union's bargaining power so they are pushing hard for higher wages, although increases might fall short of expectations among workers and the ECB tower. Meanwhile in Berlin, Groko hopefuls are spending Germany's fiscal surpluses, seemingly unconcerned with demographic challenges and the fact that record low interest rates and above potential growth will not last. This party will likely go on for some time - maybe even a few years. However, the situation feels increasingly reminiscent of carnival revellers' popular song "Am Aschermittwoch ist alles vorbei" (It's all over on Ash Wednesday). [more]
December 15, 2017
Region:
38
With a growth rate of probably 2.3% in 2017, Germany delivered the main positive surprise in the industrial world. In 2018, German GDP looks set to expand by 2.3% again. If this forecast materialises, Germany will grow at an above-potential rate for the fifth year in a row. The upcoming wage round and resilient demand combined with the global decline in free capacities might, however, push up prices more strongly than currently expected. We already voiced concerns ahead of the Bundestag elections that the new government (just like its predecessor) might not pay sufficient attention to urgent challenges such as digitalisation, demographics and globalisation as the labour market situation is favourable. Now that forming a government has turned out to be unexpectedly difficult our concerns have increased. [more]
December 1, 2017
Region:
39
Beyond the Catalan referendum, independence movements in Europe seem to enjoy a revival. But calls for greater autonomy or even secession are not just about cultural identity - financial discrepancies between regions also play a major role. Unsurprisingly, most of the regions with strong separatist tendencies are amongst the wealthiest in their respective countries. Calls for (more) independence seem to be loudest when national financial equalization mechanisms lead to results that are perceived as disproportional, such as in Spain or Italy. [more]
December 1, 2017
Region:
40
The fluid political situation in Germany threatens to stall EU policymaking in a number of fields, above all the build-out of the euro area. The EU summit on Dec 14/15 is unlikely to yield an agreement on a potential roadmap for reforming the monetary union making it even more difficult to take final decisions in June 2018 as envisaged by the EU Commission. This will in return dampen optimism that a French-German tandem will provide a fresh impetus to the EU as a whole before the European Parliament elections in 2019. [more]
November 3, 2017
Region:
42
Envisaged Jamaica coalition: After the exploratory talks is before the negotiations. It would not come as a surprise, if the coalition formation were to take longer than ever before in the Federal Republic and if the chancellor were not until January. Given that in many areas critical details remained unresolved in the first round of the exploratory talks, further challenging rounds will follow in the next few weeks. Only after that will the official coalition talks begin - provided the Greens sound the all-clear at their party convention. The search for compromises is aggravated, as many of the partners’ requests have to remain unfulfilled despite buoyant tax revenues. Initially, i.e. in 2018, the economic impulse of a "black-yellow-green" fiscal policy is likely to be very limited. But steps in the right direction of strengthening Germany are on the horizon. Another positive is the clear commitment to a united and strong Europe. (Also included in this issue: November tax estimate, German current account surplus, trends in the EU industry) [more]
October 6, 2017
Region:
43
The view from Berlin: Jamaica unlikely to trigger fundamental policy changes. The total additional fiscal impulse provided by a Jamaica coalition could in our view amount to between EUR 15 bn and EUR 20 bn in 2018. This would be only marginally more than the EUR 15 bn tax cuts "promised" by the outgoing Minister of Finance, which we had already taken into account in our 1.8% GDP forecast for 2018. Proposals in the FDP's election platform to scale back the ESM and to install an orderly EMU exit procedure have raised concerns among some EU politicians. We doubt that these two proposals will make it into the coalition treaty. Despite the FDP's insistence on more market- and rule-based procedure within EMU, it is very unlikely that Germany would not provide the necessary support if another EMU country slipped into acute crisis. (Also included in this issue: Public finances after the election, World trade) [more]
September 19, 2017
Region:
45
German Bundestag elections 2017: The winner seems to be clear, but not the next government! According to the ARD Deutschland-trend (14.09.) only a renewed Grand Coalition or a coalition between Merkel‘s CDU/CSU, the liberals (FDP) and the Greens (“Jamaica”) would be arithmetically possible. But given tight polls and their typical error margins other alternatives might become available. We are discussing coalition scenarios and their possible implications for Germany’s economic and EU policies as well as financial markets. [more]
September 6, 2017
Region:
46
As the highlight of a so far uninspiring election campaign, Chancellor Merkel and her SPD contester Martin Schulz exchanged arguments in yesterday’s TV debate. Given the huge audience of 16.2 m, i.e. 26% of the electorate, Schulz understood the debate as an opportunity to challenge the Chancellor and to reverse the SPD’s downward trend in the polls. While the chancellor remained in her cautious rhetoric Martin Schulz tried to seize his chances by attacking Merkel’s policy course above all on migration and foreign policy as well as equality – issues voters consider most important in surveys. [more]
September 6, 2017
Region:
47
Germany booming but wage-inflation still missing. We have lifted our 2017 GDP forecast from 1.6% to 1.9%. 2018 we revised only marginally up (from 1.7% to 1.8%) as we expect euro-induced export headwinds to counteract domestic strength. In H1 the economy expanded with an annualized rate of 2.6%. With EUR appreciation feeding through only gradually and capex picking up, GDP growth should slow only marginally in H2. 2018 kicks off with wage negotiation in key sectors. The strong labour market suggests wage settlements north of 3%, but the (classic) Phillips curve nexus is only weak and other factors could weigh. (Also included in this issue: German wage round in 2018, industry output forecast, The view from Berlin) [more]
September 4, 2017
Region:
48
Optimism about Europe’s future surged after the French elections, while the EU is increasingly losing patience with British “divorce tactics”. Franco-German initiatives will be key to set the path for European reforms but the debate is expected to only gain speed after the formation of a new German government towards the end of the year. Meanwhile, the refugee challenge and EU external relations will remain on top of Europe’s political agenda. [more]
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