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Economic and european policy

In this section you find analyses and commentaries on European (and especially German) economic and fiscal policy. Particular attention is devoted to the institutional development of the EU, above all monetary union, and its individual policy areas.

238 Documents
October 4, 2018
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Weak currencies and economic difficulties in emerging markets dampen German exports. Over the past few months, the euro has appreciated against the currencies of many emerging markets which will likely curtail German exports to these countries in 2018 and 2019. In 2017, the ten largest German export markets among the emerging markets accounted for some 16% of total exports. According to our estimation model, German exports to this country group are set to increase by a nominal 3.5% to 4% in 2018 and 2019. This would be a noticeable loss of momentum compared with 2017 when exports increased by just over 7%. The country group’s share of total exports for the industrial sector is highest for traditional capital goods manufacturers, with mechanical engineering taking the lead. The ten emerging economies examined accounted for just over 22% of all exports in this sector in 2017. [more]
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September 14, 2018
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Since the last corporate tax overhaul in 2008, the need for reform has been continuously building in Germany. Given the ongoing criticism of Germany's current account surpluses, a reduction in corporate taxes would be a strong signal to provide new impulses to the sluggish domestic investment activity, thereby addressing a key issue of the current account discussion. The international trend towards lower tax rates also needs to be addressed, if Germany is to retain its competitiveness as a site for investment, innovation and jobs. [more]
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September 4, 2018
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German economy in H2 still goldilocks despite external headwinds. We maintain our forecast of around 0.5% quarterly GDP growth in both Q3 and Q4, following average growth of 0.4% in H1. The H1 growth composition, however, marginally lowers the annual average to 1.9% (2.0%) and risks remain more skewed to the downside. In Berlin, the Groko agreed on an expensive social policy package. Albeit medium- and long-term financing of the package is not secured, FM Scholz came up with an additional, even more costly idea for extended pension benefits. A silver lining could be if the Groko managed to launch a law on labour migration. (Also included in this issue: German manufacturing industry, shortage of qualified workers in the construction sector, corporate taxes) [more]
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July 2, 2018
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The month of June was marked by various political irritations which of course also had a certain impact on economies and markets. The US-EU trade conflicts seems set to broaden beyond steel and aluminium. The threat of imposing tariffs on US car imports will be felt particularly in the export-driven German car industry which already has to deal with stricter regulations and a cyclical slowdown in important export markets. On the domestic front, the German retail sector is facing ongoing structural change due to digitalisation. The German government crisis between the CDU and the Bavarian CSU over the course of the asylum policy is still not settled despite the rather constructive outcome of the EU summit. The various party bodies will convene and later on Monday there will be another meeting between Chancellor Merkel and Interior Minister Seehofer. In view of the factors weighing on economic sentiment, we consider our recent adjustment of our annual GDP growth forecast from 2.3% to 2% to be justified. [more]
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June 13, 2018
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Several aspects of the European data protection regulation GDPR could have far-reaching implications for competition in the EU’s data economy and the competitiveness of the bloc’s tech industry and AI startups. Data protection “made in Europe” could give European companies a competitive edge as users become increasingly privacy-aware. But GDPR could also end up rather strengthening the position of incumbent tech giants and throw the continent further behind the US and China in the emerging race for global AI dominance. If potential negative implications of the regulation for the EU’s data economy materialize, EU lawmakers should not hesitate to make adjustments accordingly. [more]
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June 11, 2018
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In April industrial production remained sluggish and new orders heavily declined, Q2 M&E investment growth could be restrained. No positive impulses are expected from net exports as long as international trade tensions continue. For these reasons, we have recently adjusted our annual GDP growth forecast from 2.3% to 2%. Impulses for Q2 growth should mainly come from the construction sector and consumption. Thanks to high wage settlements, private consumption should be again a key growth driver and the expansion of 17 consecutive quarters in a row is likely to continue. (Also included in this issue: lacklustre new construction, lending in Germany, the view from Berlin) [more]
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May 14, 2018
Developments in artificial intelligence and robotics have far-reaching economic and sociopolitical consequences, with some of them already materialising today. Still, the implications of further progress in these fields are not well understood. Economies around the world are likely to be impacted differently by the diffusion of AI technologies and robotics as wealthy industrial countries might increasingly “re-shore” production. To forge ahead and maximise the benefits for economies and societies, a balance needs to be found globally between successfully promoting key technologies and industries and avoiding the risk of rising protectionism and "knowledge wars". As the pace of technological change and the related launch of new business models are unlikely to slow, the ability of the state and regulators to keep pace is challenged. [more]
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May 8, 2018
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Weaker recent data – too early to throw in the towel, but 2018 GDP forecast cut to 2%. Although German Q1 GDP growth now looks like reaching around ¼% qoq, we still expect some positive payback in Q2, as some temporary factors depressing activity should disappear. Corporate investment spending will be key for growth in the remainder of the year. Unfortunately, signals from proxy indicators have become somewhat mixed recently too. Notwithstanding a likely, albeit limited, Q2 rebound in activity, the strong drop in the expectations' component of the ifo business climate suggests that we have probably passed the peak in qoq growth rates in the current cycle. Due to the weaker Q1 we have lowered our GDP forecast for 2018 from 2.3% to 2.0%. (Also included in this issue: industrial producer and import prices, labour migration, fiscal policy) [more]
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April 12, 2018
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The EU institutions are about to decide on major new rules regarding the reception and the treatment of asylum applicants as well as their allocation among member states. The trigger for the intended reforms relate to the current regulatory framework’s shortcomings that emerged during the refugee crisis: an uneven sharing of responsibilities for asylum procedures and massive irregular migration within the EU. However, the Dublin procedure recast has stalled, as several member states strictly refuse the planned corrective mechanism for a fair sharing of responsibility. The prospects seem to be more favourable with regard to the harmonisation of the asylum procedures and conditions. [more]
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