Talking Point
Cash incentives to purchase electric cars are not the ideal solution
The demand for electric cars in Germany remains low. Their share of total new car registrations was less than 1% in 2015. The clamour is increasing among policymakers in favour of stimulating demand with the aid of cash incentives. The argument is that if such incentives were high enough the market share of electric cars would indeed increase faster than has been the case to date. Nevertheless, there is a host of economic, regulatory and social policy reasons that argue against cash incentives. We continue to favour an integration of road traffic into the EU Emissions Trading System in order to limit the sector's CO2emissions. [more]
Talking point
Payments in the euro area: Are they stagnating? – No!
In 2014, for the first time, the number of cashless payments in the euro area did not grow – according to ECB figures. The transaction volume remained flat at 68 bn payments. However, this is due to an overhaul of the statistical methodology which caused breaks in many of the series. Corrected for this, there was actually a strong development of the market: cashless payments grew by about 7% yoy or almost 5 bn transactions. This growth rate is even at the upper end of growth in recent years. [more]
European integration
Focus Germany: Above potential growth, no wage excesses
After three years of high GDP forecast accuracy, we were off the mark by a substantial margin in 2015. The miss can mainly be traced to our assumptions with regard to oil, the USD, the magnitude of the refugee influx and a bit of bad timing, as the USD and oil saw a massive adjustment right after we had published our 2015 forecast. Last year’s imponderables are once again at the top of our list of forecast uncertainties for 2016. In this issue we also look at the wage round in 2016 and Chancellor Merkel’s asylum policy. [more]
European integration
Higher EMU labour mobility at risk
Our analysis on labour mobility shows that mobility between EMU countries is relatively low compared to the US. EMU mobility was far higher in the post-crisis period and increased significantly since 2007. In particular, the ongoing, pronounced variation of the labour market situation across EMU countries should remain a driving force of bilateral migration. The higher mobility provides some limited hope for the ECB. However, the increased competition caused by the jump of migration from non-EMU countries will probably put the increased EMU labour mobility at risk, which was dominated by the shift of flows in the direction of Germany as EMU’s stability anchor since the start of the crisis.  [more]
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