Talking point
Open data – unrecognised potential
The commercial and data protection foundations for debate about big data may well already be in place. But far removed from the debate about monetisation and data misuse there is another world in which data applications, regardless of their data volumes, can provide a valuable economic benefit to society. Our increasingly digital and data-driven economy enables us to more rapidly detect potential ways to boost efficiency and productivity and subject them to closer scrutiny. In this context, the desire for greater transparency, participation and collaboration provides an important motive for experimenting ultimately in fact with new forms of democratic processes. The initially exponential growth in the volume of data and its intelligent evaluation provide the fertile breeding ground needed for innovation and economic growth in the digital age. [more]
Germany
Monitor Corporate funding in Germany
In Q4 2014, lending to German corporates and self-employed remained weak (-0.1% qoq). The decline in outstanding volumes with the manufacturing industry accelerated, whereas the services sector saw a solid increase. Public-sector banks suffered a setback, while commercial banks and cooperative banks performed well. As regards financing alternatives, bond issuance and the leasing business posted convincing results. The German economy grew surprisingly strongly in Q4 (GDP +0.7% qoq), driven mainly by a significant expansion in private consumption and construction investment. On the other hand, foreign trade and investment in machinery and equipment contributed only moderately to growth. The GDP forecast for 2015 has been raised substantially to 2.0% (available only in German). [more]
Germany
Focus Germany: Stronger growth and wages – little reaction from savers
The Q4 GDP details corroborate that the German economy ended 2014 on a high note (+0.7% qoq vs +0.1% in Q3) as private consumption received a substantial stimulus from the drop of the oil prices. We increase our 2015 GDP forecast to 2.0% from 1.4% previously. This is especially due to the much larger carry-over effect courtesy of the marked Q4 GDP growth. In addition, we raise our Q1 GDP forecast to 0.5% qoq as the renewed oil price drop will boost consumption again. Sentiment also improved further in January/February with ifo expectations and the composite PMI pointing to 0.5% and 0.4% growth, respectively.  [more]
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