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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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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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; Social values / Consumer behaviour
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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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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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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: Banking; Economic structure; Financial market trends; Germany; Information technology; Innovation; Intangible assets; International financial markets; International financial system; Internet; Key issues; Macroeconomics; Media/PR & Advertising; Social values / Consumer behaviour; Socio-econ. trends; Technology and innovation; Telecommunication; Trade
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Germany: Is housing policy heading towards the precipice?
Abstract: It will take many years to reduce the demand overhang in the housing market if there is not a huge jump in building activity. This harbours the risk that the current phase of prices returning to normal could first lead to overshooting and end in a market correction. This scenario comes with high economic costs. These could be avoided by improving depreciation conditions for newbuild housing in Germany's large cities and metropolitan regions.
Topics: Business cycle; Capital markets; Cities; Construction industry; Economic growth; Economic trends; Germany; Housing policy; Monetary policy; Prices, inflation; Real estate; Residential real estate; Sectors / commodities; Social policy; Supervision and regulation
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Focus Germany: Migration, urbanisation, inflation
Abstract: Although the external and the financial environment have deteriorated we have lifted our 2016 GDP call to 1.9% (1.7%). Drivers are stronger real consumption growth due to lower oil prices/stronger EUR and the surge in immigration which should ceteris paribus add about ½ pp to consumption (split between private and public). The risks are mainly external (EMs). We lower our forecast for German inflation (national definition) in 2015 and 2016 to 0.3% and 1.3% from 0.5% and 2.0%. The relatively large adjustment for 2016 is due to the weaker inflation development in H2 2015 and due to our expectations of a weaker dynamic in 2016.
Topics: Business cycle; Cities; Demographics; Economic growth; European issues; European policy issues; Exchange rates; Germany; Key issues; Labour market; Labour market policy; Politics and elections; Prices, inflation; Real estate; Residential real estate; Social policy; Social values / Consumer behaviour; Trade
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Presentation: German FinTechs and traditional banks: Friend or Foe?
Topics: Banking; E-commerce; Financial market trends; Germany; Global financial markets; Information technology; Innovation; International financial markets; Internet
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German bank lending: Market share developments in individual sectors
Abstract: In German corporate lending business, the role played by the different banking groups varies considerably between individual industries. For instance, a relatively large share of loans to the manufacturing sector – and particularly the "core" of German industry, mechanical engineering and automotives – is provided by commercial banks. Lending to construction and agricultural firms, on the other hand, is dominated by savings banks and cooperative banks. The retail banks have also gained significant ground in the services sector over the past 10 years. Landesbanks have only two strongholds, utilities/mining and transport.
Topics: Banking; Financial market trends; Germany; International financial markets; International financial system; Key issues; Sectors / commodities
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Augmented reality: Specialised applications are the key to this fast-growing market for Germany
Abstract: Augmented reality is far more than the much-discussed smartglasses that are equated with horrific dystopian scenarios in which everyone is under surveillance. The fact is that augmented reality supports people in their day-to-day activities, extends their perception and facilitates communication. That is why it is important not to write off the technology in its entirety, simply because of one individual application, but instead to seize the highly attractive opportunities presented by this fast-growing market. German companies, however, would probably do well to offer customised services for commercial applications in niche markets where the tech giants have not become established.
Topics: E-commerce; Electrical engineering; Germany; Information technology; Innovation; Internet; Key issues; Media/PR & Advertising; Other sectors; Sectors / commodities; Technology and innovation; Telecommunication
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