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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German industry: Economic engine sputters but does not stall
Abstract: Following the disappointing performance of German industry in Q2 2014, we have revised our production forecast for the year 2014 from +4% to +2.5%. Despite the current geopolitical risks we see no general change in the trend but rather a temporary dip. In the chemicals industry, mechanical engineering and the metal industry we have corrected our forecast downwards – in some cases markedly.
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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German GDP growth: Only 1 ½% after all
Abstract: People say that life is easier for optimists. However, this has not held true for forecasters of German economic growth for quite a while now. The good start into the year (Q1: +0.8 qoq) and the upbeat business and consumer sentiment back then had induced us in June to boost our full-year forecast from 1.5% to 1.8%. Nonetheless, we didn't relinquish our place at the lower end of the consensus, which in the meantime had climbed to 2%. If only we had kept our mouths shut!
Topics: Business cycle; Economic growth; Germany; Macroeconomics
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Focus Germany: Weaker recovery in H2
Abstract: Economic growth probably suffered a worse setback in Q2 than initially presumed. We only expect stagnation now, but would no longer rule out a minimal decline. All in all, global economic conditions do not point to dynamic growth in H2. In particular, the tougher sanctions on Russia and the risk of further escalation of the conflict are set to weigh on business sentiment and investment activity in spite of Russia's low share in German exports. The debate triggered by ECB and Bundesbank comments about higher wage increases in Germany is likely to have a similar impact, even though the substance of the statements is less spectacular, on closer inspection, than the media hype. As uncertainties abound we have decided to refrain for now from making a downward revision to our full-year forecast of 1.8% GDP growth.
Topics: Business cycle; Capital markets; Economic growth; Economic policy; Germany; Key issues; Macroeconomics; Monetary policy; Prices, inflation; Real econ. trends; Sectors / commodities
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Temporary immigration boom: A wake-up call for politicians?
Abstract: Germany has become the No. 1 destination country for migrants in Europe again and No. 2 in the whole OECD after the United States. The turnaround reflects the crisis in the EMU periphery as well as the (postponed) opening of the German labour market to citizens from the 10 Central and Eastern European countries that joined the EU in 2004 and 2007. The higher immigration should only temporarily obscure the negative effects from the introduction of a minimum wage and the retirement wave triggered by the "pension at 63" option. Given the economic recovery in the eurozone periphery the present migration surge is unlikely to last and ageing Germany’s demand for labour from outside the EU will increase. Therefore, Germany needs to shape up to encourage more pull-based immigration. This requires a skills-oriented migration policy as well as more flexibility in the labour market and at the company level.
Topics: Demographics; Economic growth; Education; Germany; Key issues; Labour market; Labour market policy; Macroeconomics; Socio-econ. trends
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Germany: Above trend, but no price pressure
Abstract: Germany should enjoy the strongest growth among EMU countries, courtesy of a healthy domestic economy. Despite too-low interest rates and a tight labour market, there are no signs of imbalances building up, except maybe residential property markets in some urban centres.
Topics: Business cycle; Germany; Key issues; Macroeconomics; Prices, inflation
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Media: New offers and suppliers change business from scratch
Abstract: For a long time, technological progress in the world of media has surpassed the improved image display via screen diagonal or contrast by far. This is not only shown by the gadgets which the TV viewer may use for his or her personal analysis of the games of the FIFA Football World Cup. This opens completely new opportunities and business models for the large field of visual media. More and more, media use is currently understood as a location-, time- and device-independent option with the possibility of personalisation and interaction. Thus, television viewers, who were previously condemned to passivity, now have the option to compose their own programmes and watch at times convenient to them.
Topics: E-commerce; Economic trends; Germany; Information technology; Innovation; Intangible assets; Internet; Key issues; Other sectors; Privatisation/liberalisation; Sectors / commodities; Social values / Consumer behaviour; Technology and innovation
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Uneven decline in sectoral exports to Russia
Topics: Auto industry; Business cycle; Chemicals industry; Eastern Europe; Economic growth; Electrical engineering; Food and beverages; Germany; Key issues; Macroeconomics; Mechanical engineering; Sectors / commodities; Steel industry; Trade
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Focus Germany: Solid growth, low inflation (despite ECB)
Abstract: After a good start into 2014, manufacturing output in Germany looks set to grow by 4% in real terms in the full year. Even though business expectations have recently weakened somewhat, they remain in positive territory. Despite the good labour market situation in Germany inflation has decelerated noticeably. The outlook of a recovering global economy, a sliding euro and the introduction of a nation-wide minimum wage in Germany lead us to forecast that inflation is bottoming out. After hitting 1.1% in the current year it could pick up to 1.6% in 2015.
Topics: Auto industry; Business cycle; Chemicals industry; Economic growth; Economic structure; Germany; Key issues; Macroeconomics; Mechanical engineering; Prices, inflation; Sectors / commodities
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Professor Stefan Wrobel on the significance of big data, opportunities, risks and future challenges
Abstract: „... Big data does not represent a short-term trend but rather a fundamental change in our way of thinking. Whereas data used to be no more than the necessary raw material for business, it now is a value in its own right and promotes the development of new ideas and business models. For companies, this offers opportunities not only for individual tasks but also regarding their general orientation....”
Topics: E-commerce; Economic trends; Germany; Information technology; Innovation; Internet; Key issues; Macroeconomics; Media/PR & Advertising; Retail trade; SMEs; Sectors / commodities; Services; Social values / Consumer behaviour; Socio-econ. trends; Telecommunication; Trade
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Focus Germany: Strong domestic economy to suffer from good intentions
Abstract: With the dream start into 2014 we have lifted our GDP forecast to 1.8% (from 1.5%). For 2015 we maintain our 2% call, as we expect that the only temporary increase in the sum of gross wages resulting from the introduction of the minimum wage will be offset by more cautious investment spending.
Topics: Business cycle; Economic growth; Economic policy; Education; Germany; Key issues; Labour market; Labour market policy; Macroeconomics; Politics and elections; Prices, inflation; Social policy; Socio-econ. trends; Trade
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