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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Date
Title
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19.05.2015
Media sector reinventing itself: Music shrinking, books stabilising, film booming
Topics: E-commerce; Economic structure; Economic trends; Germany; Information technology; Innovation; Internet; Media/PR & Advertising; Other sectors; Sectors / commodities; Services; Social values / Consumer behaviour; Technology and innovation; Telecommunication
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11.05.2015
German industry: Only marginal increase in output at start of 2015
Abstract: Despite only marginally higher output in Germany's manufacturing sector in Q1 2015 we are sticking with our full-year production forecast (+1.5% in real terms). The current softness of the euro benefits Germany's export sectors. Nonetheless, companies appear much more upbeat in their assessment of the current situation than in their expectations for the coming months. This is likely due, for example, to continuing geopolitical risks and poorer economic policy conditions in Germany. So it is clear that in the business world not everything is sweetness and light.
Topics: Auto industry; Business cycle; Chemicals industry; Economic growth; Electrical engineering; Germany; Key issues; Macroeconomics; Mechanical engineering; Other sectors; Sectors / commodities; Steel industry
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08.05.2015
No all-clear signal from demographics
Abstract: The latest population projections by Germany's Federal Statistical Office once again highlight the Herculean task of coping with demographic change. Once immigration begins to fall from its current temporary high, the fair weather in the labour market caused by rising employment figures may already turn cloudy within the next ten years. Consistent political action in the fields of old-age provision and long-term care is required given rising life expectancy and the expected doubling of the number of the very elderly.
Topics: Economic policy; Germany; Key issues
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30.04.2015
Focus Germany: German savers challenged by QE
Abstract: The financial situation of German households continued to improve markedly in 2014. The good income situation enabled them to make new investments to the tune of EUR 160 bn. In addition, the valuation gains on existing financial assets came to EUR 53 bn. Overall, total gross household financial assets thus increased from EUR 5 tr to EUR 5.2 tr (180% of GDP). Nothing has fundamentally changed with regard to the minimal risk appetite of German investors; risk-bearing investments still constitute less than 25% of financial assets. However, their share of new investments climbed to 11%. Furthermore, in 2014 EUR 20.5 bn of new debt was taken on. Both developments have probably been heavily influenced by the low-interest rate environment and are likely to continue in 2015 given the monetary policy outlook.
Topics: Business cycle; Economic growth; Germany; Key issues; Macroeconomics; Politics and elections; Real econ. trends; Social values / Consumer behaviour
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17.04.2015
Minimum wage: First negative effects become visible
Abstract: Roughly 100 days have passed since the introduction of the minimum wage, and the Minister of Labour Andrea Nahles is already calling it a success story. However, we would urge caution given the considerable time lags with the effects of the minimum wage of EUR 8.50 per hour. In the medium term, we continue to expect clearly negative effects on employment and a missing of the targets of a more just income distribution and fiscal relief. In the medium term, we still expect a negative employment effect of 800,000 persons in line with our ex-ante study "Minimum wage of EUR 8.50 per hour: Grand Coalition on the wrong track".
Topics: Business cycle; Germany; Labour market; Labour market policy
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09.04.2015
Biotechnology: Funding gap jeopardising competitiveness
Abstract: Biotechnology is one of the key technologies for securing Germany's position as a manufacturing location. While biotechnology research in Germany is being conducted at the leading edge and grants make it easier to set up a biotech firm, young companies often encounter funding bottlenecks when the start-up financing phase comes to an end. One indicator of how grave the funding situation is in Germany is that the average amount of venture capital available to a company is around four times as high in the US as it is in Germany. This funding gap could jeopardise Germany's high-tech strategy objective of beefing up key technologies in the domestic market.
Topics: Food and beverages; Germany; Globalisation; Health care; Intangible assets; Key issues; Other sectors; SMEs; Sectors / commodities; Tax policy; Technology and innovation
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30.03.2015
Focus Germany: German exporters facing strong headwind despite softer euro
Abstract: The combination of the structural global trade slowdown, increased localization of production, demographic changes in Germany, the impact of recent economic policy decisions and further toughening of international competition are likely to be a considerable challenge for German exporters over the medium term. Thus, the domestic economy will play a bigger role again. Government policies can help ease the transition. German exporters could become even more globally active firms over the medium term. The specific reactions will vary by sector, though. The earnings generated by these firms around the globe are likely to be a blessing for an aging and more domestically driven economy in the decades ahead.
Topics: Banking; Business cycle; Capital markets; EMU; Economic growth; Economic policy; European issues; European policy issues; Fiscal policy; Germany; Key issues; Macroeconomics; Prices, inflation; Real econ. trends; Sectors / commodities; Trade
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30.03.2015
Weak investment in the healthcare system
Abstract: Since around 2009, the German healthcare system has been characterised by weak investment. One reason is that public subsidies for the sector have been reduced. This development harbours risks, for only a regular renewal of medical appliances and equipment is likely to ensure the high quality of treatment in Germany in the long term. By contrast, lower investments in the building stock would primarily mean a reduction in the current hospital overcapacities.
Topics: Economic policy; Germany; Health care; Key issues; Other sectors; Privatisation/liberalisation; Sectors / commodities; Services; Social policy
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12.03.2015
German manufacturing suffering slump in business with Russia
Abstract: In 2014, Germany exported goods worth EUR 1.1 tr (+3.7%), which represented a new record high. Conversely, German exports to Russia fell by 18% because of the latter's economic and political problems, with the declines in certain sectors even exceeding 30%. True, the share of total German exports going to Russia has decreased to only 2.6% (2013: 3.3%; 2012: 3.5%), but certain sectors and companies are nevertheless being hit hard by the decline. We expect exports to Russia to drop significantly in 2015, too. Out of Germany's major manufacturing sectors it is probably engineering that is suffering the most as Russia is still one of its biggest foreign markets.
Topics: Auto industry; Business cycle; Chemicals industry; Economic growth; Electrical engineering; Food and beverages; Germany; Key issues; Macroeconomics; Mechanical engineering; Other sectors; Sectors / commodities; Steel industry; Trade
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02.03.2015
Focus Germany: Stronger growth and wages – little reaction from savers
Abstract: 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.
Topics: Business cycle; Economic growth; Financial market trends; Germany; Key issues; Labour market; Labour market policy; Monetary policy; Politics and elections; Prices, inflation; Real econ. trends; Socio-econ. trends
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