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Talking Point

In Talking Point we present our take on current affairs and developments in the worlds of business, financial markets and politics.

157 Documents
November 11, 2020
Region:
Analyst:
The European Green Deal labels the goal of climate neutrality by 2050 as a growth strategy where no one is left behind. This is akin to squaring the circle. In the next few years, we will see whether we, as a society, are ready for an honest democratic discussion about climate neutrality. We will have to deal with inconvenient questions and inconvenient truths. But if this discussion does not take place, climate neutrality will remain a just topic for fine speeches and promises – and nothing will be said, much less done, that could hurt anybody. [more]
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October 8, 2020
Region:
After the summer break new cases have picked up strongly in most of Germany’s neighboring countries. In many cases (France, Spain, UK, Netherlands, Poland, Czech Republic), numbers are (by far) exceeding the peaks reported in spring or are back at these levels (Belgium, Austria). Various governments have introduced new measures, such as Paris shutting down parts of the hospitality and leisure sector, and Spain ordering a partial lockdown in Madrid, albeit not as encompassing as in April. In other countries, social distancing and mask-wearing rules have been tightened or are being discussed. [more]
2
October 2, 2020
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The sizeable fiscal gaps in 2020/21 caused by the corona pandemic – which, just at the federal government level, are reflected in record new borrowing of around EUR 218 bn and EUR 96 bn, respectively – are a harsh setback for ensuring long-term public debt sustainability. In this week’s debate on the federal budget Finance Minister Scholz assured that no fiscal action in response to the crisis would be more expensive than fiscal action. But for the next federal government this appraisal might also hold true – but then with respect to fiscal consolidation. [more]
3
September 29, 2020
Analyst:
During the last few weeks, the German Federal Foreign Office has issued more and more travel warnings for other EU countries on the grounds of rising COVID-19 infection figures. If infections continue to trend upwards or remain high during autumn and winter, the number of travel warnings for EU countries and regions will rise as well during the winter season of 2020/21. And unless policymakers take measures to mitigate the impact, the tourism industry, in particular travel agents in Germany and hospitality providers abroad, will be faced with a similar situation to a new lockdown in the coming weeks and months. Quick and uncomplicated access to reliable coronavirus tests might be an option to allow travelling during the pandemic. The test costs should be borne by the travellers themselves. Ultimately, corona-related health risks will have to be weighed against the impact of higher hurdles for travelling and their negative economic consequences. [more]
4
August 13, 2020
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The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on growth in the second quarter was dramatic, no doubt about it. But economic data, as well as the daily and weekly real-time indicators that are now being watched meticulously, show that most countries began to reemerge from the slump back in May. In Germany, production was down by “just” 11.5% year over year in June, after a drop of nearly 25% in April. [more]
5
July 20, 2020
Region:
The German export sector has had to cope with numerous challenges over the last few years. These include “homemade” problems, above all in the auto industry, but also the shift in US trade policy. Climate change has become an increasingly important issue, too; in fact, it implies massive changes. That is why the long-term trend in many manufacturing sectors appeared unclear even ahead of the coronavirus pandemic. Now, COVID-19 has compounded already existing uncertainties. From our vantage point, a number of reasons support our hypothesis that continental value chains are likely to gain importance. [more]
6
July 1, 2020
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Analyst:
During the corona summer, Germans will probably travel less and for shorter periods of time than in former years. Destinations in Germany and in the neighbouring countries, which are only a car journey away, look set to benefit. In contrast, European holiday destinations which are usually reached by plane will see the number of tourists decline in 2020. Spain will probably be the main loser. Long-distance travel will not play a major role in 2020. The cruise boom is likely to come to an abrupt end. In 2020, the total amount spent by Germans abroad is likely to decline by 10-20%. Once the coronavirus crisis is over, climate and environmental regulation (in particular for the transport sector) will return as the main structural challenge for tourism. [more]
7
June 17, 2020
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Analyst:
German households saved surprisingly little money during Q1; their bank deposits were only up by EUR 5.8 bn. In the lockdown month of March, deposits even declined by EUR 11.1 bn, as households withdrew a lot of cash due to the uncertain situation. During the current quarter, however, households will probably build up deposits substantially in order to prepare for potential income losses. By contrast, retail loans continued to increase strongly in Q1 and may cool down only in the medium term. [more]
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May 28, 2020
Region:
Commission President von der Leyen presented the long anticipated Commission proposal for a EUR 750 bn European Recovery Instrument together with an upsized EU budget for the next seven years. The plan goes beyond the Franco-German proposal that surprised markets last week. It can be expected to cause heated debates in the European Council and meet fierce resistance from frugal EU members. [more]
9
May 20, 2020
Region:
European banks have taken a substantial initial hit from the corona crisis in Q1, but so far digested it relatively well. Nevertheless, more pain is surely to come. While revenues and costs were both down only mildly, loan loss provisions shot up and almost wiped out industry profits. Capital levels dropped quarter-over-quarter, yet less than feared as banks cancelled 2019 dividends. Balance sheets expanded by a record-breaking 10% compared to year-end due to growth in corporate loans, higher liquidity reserves at central banks and increased derivatives volumes. [more]
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