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Polarisation in Germany – fuelled but not caused by the corona crisis

September 23, 2020
Region:
The two August mass demonstrations against the corona measures in Berlin attracted wide media attention and rattled the public. Many felt confirmed in their feeling that the corona crisis is driving society further apart. Current surveys, however, show that 80% of Germans firmly support the government and trust in government is at a record high. Rather, the protests go beyond the corona crisis, which might be a door opener for general system criticism. The causes for criticism and uncertainty are more likely ongoing long-term trends such as the loss of western supremacy, demographic change, climate change or digitalisation. [more]

More documents contained in "Focus Germany"

94 Documents
November 27, 2020
Region:
1
Early this year, the government had to put together massive bailout and aid packages in next to no time in order to avert an imminent economic collapse. However, cash outflow from immediate assistance and interim aid schemes have so far fallen considerably short of the expectations. As a result, the funds budgeted for this purpose have not been nearly utilised to their full extent. In light of November’s partial lockdown, the government has now decided to increase the dose of its financial aid to solo self-employed, freelancers as well as small and medium-sized companies. Consequently, the mere ripple of support often bemoaned in this area could ultimately gather enough strength yet to become a mighty wave. The provision of aid over the further course of the crisis is to be strictly guided by necessity, effectiveness and appropriateness as fiscal resources are limited and the state cannot provide unlimited comprehensive cover. [more]
November 2, 2020
Region:
2
Q3 GDP surprise: A rear mirror view – but obstacles right in front. With the partial lockdown during November, the economy will almost certainly see another negative quarter, even in an optimistic scenario where restrictions succeed in squashing new infections and will be completely abolished by the end of November. Prepare the German healthcare sector for regional bottlenecks – protect risk groups better: The number of patients in intensive care and hospital capacity is just as important as the number of new infections. We estimate that 400,000 acutely infected patients are the limit for intensive care units. (Also in this issue: inflation outlook, German labour market, corporate insolvencies, German auto industry, global construction industry, German corona policy, open borders in the EU) [more]
September 24, 2020
Region:
3
We have lifted our GDP forecast for 2020 to -5.5% and see the economy expanding by 4.5% in 2021. An important factor is that the rebound during Q2 – when GDP contracted by 9.7% – turned out more dynamic than expected. The momentum carried over into July. Even with some likely short-term moderation in August, we now expect Q3 GDP to increase by 6.0% qoq. Together with a 2.5% expansion in Q4, this should result in an annual GDP drop of “only” 5.5%, compared to the 9% expected in early May at the height of the pandemic in Europe. The higher carry-over lifts our 2021 GDP growth forecast to 4.5%, despite somewhat weaker momentum in H1 than expected earlier. (Also in this issue: labour market, bilateral exports, fiscal outlook 2020-22, German industry, the race for CDU leadership, and federal election prospects.) [more]
August 10, 2020
Region:
4
Monthly data point to a strong pickup in economic momentum during the course of Q2, in part due to catch-up effects. Still, after the unprecedented 10.1% GDP contraction in Q2 we expect a 5% increase in Q3 followed by a 2% rise in Q4 (consensus: 5.2% and 2.4%). We now expect German GDP to contract by 6.4% (compared with -9% predicted in early May) followed by a 4% increase in 2021. Still, the pre-COVID output level will not be reached before mid-2022. The current exceptional volatility in monthly data and the further development of the global pandemic imply that the error margins remain exceptionally high. (Also in this issue: Merkel’s strength might become a burden for her potential successors.) [more]
July 9, 2020
Region:
5
With Germany’s rather successful COVID-19 strategy and the recovery and stimulus packages broadly agreed, the question of Merkel’s successor and the next German federal elections in autumn 2021 are gradually getting closer political attention again. Parties are currently not only preparing for the election, but are also arguing about the electoral law: the present law allowed the Bundestag to grow from 598 mandates to the current record size of 709 mandates, with the 2021 election likely to result in an even bigger number of seats. The Bundestag just failed to pass a reform before the summer break and thus in time for the 2021 elections. However, political and public pressure to find a solution is high and will keep the issue on the political agenda. [more]
June 26, 2020
Region:
6
How deep is your trough? Daily activity trackers suggest that the economy turned at the end of April as lockdown measures were gradually lifted. But we still expect a double-digit decline in Q2 GDP. The EUR 130 bn fiscal package was somewhat above our earlier expectations but does not change our GDP forecast, especially as still-prevailing pandemic uncertainties might curtail the economic impact of the package. But upside risks to our -9% GDP forecast for 2020 have (somewhat) increased. (Also in this issue: corona pandemic update, German public finances, global trade, German tourism during the corona crisis, German politics goes European) [more]
June 10, 2020
Region:
7
Germany has got COVID-19 under control faster than many other countries. It also recorded one of the lowest infection fatality rates among the G10 countries. The complete fiscal policy U-turn in response to COVID-19 induced economic damage should allow the German economy to weather this crisis better than many other countries – although the impact will still be massive. We have identified six structural features of the German society contributing to its superior collective resilience. Due to these features we expect the German recession in 2020 to be less severe than in most other industrial countries. This crisis resilience should also further improve Germany’s relative position among the major industrial economies once COVID-19 has been overcome. And this will increase pressure on Germany to play an even more supportive role within EMU/EU in the medium term. [more]
June 4, 2020
Region:
8
The coalition committee agreed on a so-called “Fiscal Stimulus and Crisis Management Programme”. The overarching goal of the programme is to boost the economy, secure employment, unleash Germany’s economic potential, mitigate the adverse economic and social consequences due to the crisis, strengthen the federal states and municipalities and, finally, give financial support to families. The promised rise in “future investment” is per se a good thing to boost the economy. Still, timely implementation could be an issue. Hence, these additional investments will help raising Germany’s growth potential but are unlikely to have any meaningful effects on economic growth in the short run. [more]
June 3, 2020
Region:
9
As a consequence of the COVID-19 crisis continental value chains could gain in importance. Our network analysis illustrates the global trade network pre-COVID-19. We depict the global trade network of 90 countries as well as the most important intracontinental trade relationships. Trade links between Asian and American countries seem especially vulnerable to a reorganization of global value chains. [more]
May 25, 2020
Region:
10
Based on DB’s GDP forecast, due to the COVID-19 crisis annual global goods trade will shrink by 13.6% in 2020 and will recover by only 7.5% in 2021. Global goods trade is set to fall much heavier than during the GFC. The COVID-19 crisis might result in a reorganization of global value chains, at least in some sectors. For instance, there are requests to repatriate the provision of medicines and medical devices back to developed markets. However, a more balanced approach between today’s global value chains and a complete repatriation could be continental production close to developed markets. [more]
May 18, 2020
Region:
11
All German export markets will be hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis. We foresee great variation among key countries and expect annual exports to the UK and Italy to decline by around 25% in 2020. Large contractions in German exports are also expected for France, Spain and the euro area as a whole. By contrast, exports to Asia may emerge relatively unscathed from the crisis. We expect exports to the US to shrink by around 10% in 2020. However, this forecast seems particularly uncertain to us as the risk of a new wave of infections and new lockdown measures could be higher in the US than elsewhere. [more]
May 14, 2020
Region:
12
The COVID-19 pandemic and, in particular, lockdown measures will push the German economy into its biggest slump since WW2. The COVID-19 pandemic hits German labour market differently than the Global Financial Market Crisis of 2009. First, it is acting almost simultaneously as a supply shock and, as a result of the measures to restrict contact, as a demand shock. Second, is the speed and the might with which it has brought the economy to a standstill in many areas of Germany and around the world. Third, private consumption will suffer the biggest blow. During previous periods of economic weakness, private consumption has always been a supporting pillar of the German economy and thus also provided a counterweight to employment losses in export-oriented companies. At present, however, the domestically oriented and personnel-intensive service sector is failing as a driver of employment. By April 26th, 751,000 companies had already registered for short-time work. This should imply an increase in the number of people actually on short-time work to up to 10 m. Despite the comprehensive measures to secure employment, which ultimately include support measures for companies, the number of unemployed persons is expected to climb to 3 m in 2020. Employment is likely to fall in 2020 by a good 1%. [more]
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