Focus topic Germany

Focus topic: GermanyGermany has recovered well from the global financial and economic crisis. Achieving sustainable growth, however, will require further improvements to the macroeconomic framework. This is a job for policymakers, businesspeople and the public alike. DB Research’s contribution will be to analyse the broad spectrum of issues, discussing possible solutions as well as the economic and political outlook. These range from assessments of economic-policy decisions and analyses of cyclical activity and sector trends right through to the effects of international developments on Germany as a business location.

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01.09.2015
Focus Germany: Solid growth, budget surpluses but new challenges
Abstract: GDP growth accelerated slightly to +0.4% qoq in Q2 with disappointing details. The domestic economy was a drag due to the decline of investments and an inventory reduction. Consumption slowed. Net exports were the major growth engine. German exports benefitted from the weaker EUR and strong demand especially from the US. We cut our Q3 GDP growth forecast slightly to 0.4% qoq. Despite this downward revision, we modestly increase our 2015 GDP forecast to 1.7% due to the marginal upward revision of H1 numbers, and changes in the growth composition. Fundamentally our outlook remains unchanged. Domestic demand, esp. private consumption, is the primary growth driver and the external environment remains challenging.
Topics: Business cycle; Capital markets; Economic growth; Economic policy; Fiscal policy; Germany; Key issues; Macroeconomics; Politics and elections; Prices, inflation
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14.08.2015
Renminbi impact on Germany low, but not Chinese cyclical risks
Abstract: For the average German a sack of rice falling over in China has long been none of his business. In the meantime, however, the importance of events in China for the German economy has come to be recognised. China's unexpectedly weak economic indicators and the fluctuations in the Chinese stock market have increased the scepticism over recent months about whether China will achieve the growth target set by the government for this year of around 7%. Our China economist remains confident that the Chinese economy will stabilise following expected GDP growth of nearly 7% yoy in Q3 thanks to the support measures instigated by the government. However, German exporters are already having to contend with a marked softening of demand from China.
Topics: Business cycle; Exchange rates; Germany; Key issues; Macroeconomics; Prices, inflation
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11.08.2015
Broadband: German government upping funding in view of worrying disparities in supply coverage
Abstract: Given the merely average state of communications infrastructure in Germany today, this country could fall behind in the international competition to attract investment. This worry is exacerbated by the fact that even within Germany there is a risk of a significant gulf developing between the regions. However, while broadband expansion is indeed making progress in the densely populated regions, major challenges exist in rural regions with respect to return on investment. When it comes to bridging systemic profitability gaps, the government will have to step into the breach if such projects are also to progress. The funding additionally earmarked in the federal budget and the revenues currently generated from "Digital Dividend II" should provide stimuli for expansion. However, despite government aid it must always be clear that broadband expansion can only be profitable in the first place if modern networks are complemented with modern services.
Topics: E-commerce; Economic growth; Economic policy; Economic structure; Economic trends; Electrical engineering; Germany; Information technology; Innovation; Internet; Key issues; Other sectors; Privatisation/liberalisation; Sectors / commodities; Services; Social values / Consumer behaviour; Technology and innovation; Telecommunication
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10.08.2015
German manufacturing sector: Forecast for 2015 output lowered to 1% – only moderate growth also in 2016
Abstract: German manufacturers increased output by 0.2% qoq in real terms in Q2 2015. However, growth will probably be slower in H2 than anticipated to date. Therefore, we are revising our forecast for 2015 output to the downside – from 1.5% so far to 1% (both in real terms). The moderate uptrend is roughly set to continue in 2016. Manufacturing output could climb by 1% again in the coming year. This means its growth rate would continue to fall short of the long-term average. Furthermore, manufacturing's share in Germany's total gross value-added would decline.
Topics: Auto industry; Business cycle; Chemicals industry; Economic growth; Electrical engineering; Food and beverages; Germany; Key issues; Macroeconomics; Mechanical engineering; Sectors / commodities; Steel industry
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05.08.2015
In our data industry we are not the miner but rather part of the mine!
Abstract: As one possible way of reacting to the loss of our data sovereignty, efforts should be taken to launch education campaigns without delay (ideally on an international basis). This can help to establish greater internet and media expertise among the population at large in the medium to long run. Furthermore, an international legal framework would be desirable in order to regulate the use of data and algorithm-based technologies as well as limiting lax data-collection practices.
Topics: Economic structure; Financial market trends; Germany; Information technology; Innovation; Intangible assets; International financial markets; International financial system; Internet; Key issues; Macroeconomics; Media/PR & Advertising; Sectors / commodities; Social values / Consumer behaviour; Socio-econ. trends; Technology and innovation; Telecommunication; Trade
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31.07.2015
Germany’s regional airports under political and economic pressure
Abstract: 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.
Topics: Economic policy; Economic structure; Germany; Key issues; Other sectors; Sectors / commodities; Services; Social values / Consumer behaviour; Socio-econ. trends; Transport; Transport policy
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31.07.2015
Focus Germany: Cracks in the foundation?
Abstract: German model – has a consensus economy reached its limit? German output growth poised to outstrip potential again in current year. Despite new government spending programmes there should be continued budget surpluses for the time being. Given the strengths of its institutional framework Germany has so far largely been able to avoid the possibility of distributional conflicts feeding through in the shape of higher government deficits and/or rising inflation. Demographic developments, not least, will probably put this resilience to the test. However, a new reform thrust is needed in view of decreasing locational advantages. It remains to be seen whether society will carry through with an update of the Agenda 2010 reforms.
Topics: Business cycle; Economic policy; Germany; Key issues; Macroeconomics; Politics and elections
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20.07.2015
Iran nuclear agreement: Potential effects on the German economy
Abstract: If all goes well, the Iranian economy could begin to reintegrate into the world economy in early 2016. This harbours opportunities especially for Iran itself and its 80 million inhabitants. However, it is also likely to provide a moderate stimulus to world trade and German exports. In addition, increased Iranian oil production could dampen oil prices and thus support the growth of real income of German households.
Topics: Business cycle; Germany; Middle East; Prices, inflation; Social values / Consumer behaviour
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29.06.2015
Focus Germany: Inflation moving higher, despite subdued core inflation
Abstract: While the core inflation rate has remained relatively stable since 2011 at an average of slightly above 1% yoy the oil price slump is the main reason for the temporary decline in consumer prices at the start of 2015. However, the oil price rise of some 30% since January and the stabilisation of the EUR exchange rate sent the German inflation rate out of negative territory after just one month and then made it accelerate to 0.7% yoy recently. We therefore expect slightly stronger increases in consumer prices of 0.5% this year and 2.0% in 2016. With our forecast the risks are more pronounced to the downside. The oil price might rise more slowly than expected on account of the global oversupply. In addition, the EUR/USD has now stabilised at above 1.10 after hitting its low in mid-April. Our forecast assumes EUR/USD parity by year-end.
Topics: Business cycle; Economic policy; Germany; Key issues; Macroeconomics; Politics and elections; Prices, inflation
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26.06.2015
Increasing longevity of cars is hampering market penetration of alternative propulsion technologies
Abstract: The average age of cars on German roads hit a new record high of nine years at the beginning of 2015. The primary reason for this is the improved quality of vehicles. Although the diesel share of new car registrations has averaged well over 40% in recent years, diesel only constituted 31% of the cars on German roads at last count. The durability of cars is causing the mix of cars in service to change only slowly. The diesel car example suggests that it may take many years before cars powered by alternative technologies constitute a major share of all the cars registered in Germany. The vision of a future with largely climate-neutral or locally emission-free vehicles on German roads by 2050 is virtually unattainable as things currently stand.
Topics: Auto industry; Germany; Key issues; Sectors / commodities; Sustainability; Transport; Transport policy
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