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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28.01.2016
Focus Germany: Above potential growth, no wage excesses
Abstract: 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.
Topics: Business cycle; Economic policy; Germany; Key issues; Labour market; Labour market policy; Macroeconomics; Politics and elections; Prices, inflation
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22.12.2015
Automotive industry dominates German foreign direct investment
Topics: Auto industry; Chemicals industry; Economic policy; Economic structure; Economic trends; Electrical engineering; Germany; Globalisation; Key issues; Macroeconomics; Mechanical engineering; Real econ. trends; Sectors / commodities
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16.12.2015
Focus Germany: Pick-up in the domestic economy in 2016
Abstract: The German economy was extremely stable over the course of 2015, although the volatile newsflow that ranged from the oil price shock, material euro exchange rate depreciation, “Dieselgate” right through to the refugee crisis could make one think otherwise. Driven by a 15-year high in private consumption growth economic output rose by more than 1 ½% in 2015, as already achieved in 2014. Economic growth is set to accelerate to nearly 2% in 2016, following a pretty stable trend over the course of the year. Private consumption should remain the most important growth driver. Public consumption will remain expansionary given the continued influx of refugees and resulting public spending. If refugees can be successfully integrated into the labour market, the refugee crisis will provide Germany's ageing society with a medium-term opportunity.
Topics: Business cycle; Demographics; Economic growth; Economic policy; Germany; Key issues; Labour market; Labour market policy; Macroeconomics; Politics and elections; Prices, inflation; Social policy; Social values / Consumer behaviour; Trade
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03.12.2015
German industry: Little more than stagnation in 2016
Abstract: Industrial output in Germany is likely to expand by around 0.5% in real terms in 2015. For 2016, we expect growth close to zero. This means the sustained phase of relatively muted economic dynamics of industrial output seen since 2012 would continue. The rather stable development of producer prices in recent months also provides evidence that would indicate subdued industrial activity. Our forecast for industrial output implies that manufacturing’s share in total German gross value added will shrink for 2015 and 2016.
Topics: Auto industry; Business cycle; Chemicals industry; Construction industry; Economic growth; Economic structure; Electrical engineering; Food and beverages; Germany; Key issues; Macroeconomics; Mechanical engineering; Other sectors; Sectors / commodities; Steel industry; Textiles and clothing industry
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26.11.2015
Logistics in Germany: Only modest growth in the near term
Abstract: The logistics sector in Germany is characterised by innovative and diversified companies as well as very good location factors. There are, however, economic and structural factors which suggest that turnover growth will be relatively moderate over the next few years. Between 2003 and 2008 sector turnover grew by a nominal 4.6% per year. Following the recession, that is from 2009 to 2014, the growth rate dropped to 3.4% p.a. (while the inflation rate was somewhat lower). Over the next five years average annualised nominal turnover growth is likely to be more in the range of between 2% and 3%. This would propel sector turnover through the EUR 300 bn barrier. The logistics sector will remain a focus of state regulation; this is true particularly of the important transport segment.
Topics: Business cycle; Economic growth; Economic policy; Economic structure; Environmental policy; Germany; Globalisation; Intern. relations; Key issues; Macroeconomics; Sectors / commodities; Services; Sustainability; Trade; Transport; Transport policy
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19.11.2015
Capital stock of many industrial sectors is crumbling in Germany
Abstract: In the German manufacturing sector real net fixed assets in 2013 were 0.8% lower than in 2000. Looking at the average, however, masks the fact that only four out of 19 manufacturing sectors expanded their capital stock compared with 2000. The major importance of the automotive industry is striking. Its net fixed capital formation exceeded that of all other manufacturing sectors combined between 1995 and 2006 and has done so since 2009. The auto industry boosted its real net fixed asset in Germany between 2000 and 2013 by nearly 38%. In the energy-intensive sectors, by contrast, the capital stock in Germany continues to shrink, a trend that has been ongoing for years. If economic policy conditions in Germany were to deteriorate in future, we would expect manufacturing companies to invest even more heavily abroad.
Topics: Auto industry; Chemicals industry; Economic growth; Economic policy; Economic structure; Electrical engineering; Energy policy; Germany; Key issues; Labour market policy; Macroeconomics; Mechanical engineering; Real econ. trends; Sectors / commodities; Services; SMEs; Steel industry; Textiles and clothing industry
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13.11.2015
Influx of refugees: An opportunity for Germany
Abstract: The influx of refugees has raised net immigration to Germany to the record level of more than one million. Among the OECD countries, this trend could put Germany ahead of the United States, traditionally the No. 1 destination country for migrants. As a result, Germany faces the difficult − and costly – Herculean task of integrating the refugees and absorbing the supply shock to the labour market. At the same time, the refugees represent an opportunity for rejuvenating an ageing population in Germany, where there is a growing scarcity of labour and the threat of lower structural growth. In our outlined win-win scenario, successful integration offers Germany the opportunity to consolidate its position as Europe’s economic powerhouse and to increase its attractiveness as an immigration country. A sustained high level of net immigration will attenuate the decline of the trend growth rate brought on by an ageing population. Instead of moving closer to stagnation, the trend growth could still amount to 1% in ten to 15 years as well, which would also benefit social systems.
Topics: Demographics; Economic growth; Education; Germany; Key issues; Labour market; Labour market policy; Macroeconomics; Migration; Social values / Consumer behaviour
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13.11.2015
Refugee influx continues at full speed
Topics: Demographics; Economic growth; Education; Germany; Key issues; Labour market; Labour market policy; Macroeconomics; Social values / Consumer behaviour
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05.11.2015
Focus Germany: Strong domestic demand – but no excesses
Abstract: Since the last Focus Germany, some disappointing economic data have been published that fuelled the speculations around a slowing German economy. We do not believe that this requires revisions of our GDP forecast, though. Just like last year, the weakness of the industrial data is overstated by holiday effects. Nevertheless, there is a risk of an even lower foreign demand than stated by our already cautious estimates. This, however, is balanced by the upward risks for the domestic economy. Due to the migration dynamics over the summer months, we are reducing our budget forecasts for 2015 and 2016. Relative to gross domestic product we now expect surpluses of 0.3% and 0.0%, respectively (previously 0.7% and 0.5%).
Topics: Auto industry; Business cycle; Capital markets; Demographics; Economic growth; Economic policy; Fiscal policy; Germany; Key issues; Labour market; Macroeconomics; Politics and elections; Prices, inflation; Social policy; Socio-econ. trends
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14.10.2015
Interview with Peter Schaar on the topic future challenges of the digital age
Abstract: „... The question as to who has access to our data is becoming ever more important in light of current data collection and processing practices. Contrary to expectations, today's information society is primarily transparent in only one direction like a one-way mirror, with transparent users on one side and largely non-transparent, digital power centres on the other. No society in which ever more data is available at the global level is immune to cultural impoverishment and oppression....”
Topics: Economic structure; Germany; Information technology; Innovation; Intangible assets; Internet; Key issues; Macroeconomics; Media/PR & Advertising; Social values / Consumer behaviour; Socio-econ. trends; Technology and innovation; Telecommunication; Trade
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