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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.

245 Documents
March 4, 2019
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The recession in German industry can be traced to the massive slowdown of global trade in 2018. Will the German service sector withstand the recession in industry, as some recent survey data seems to suggest? We doubt it. In previous downswings in the manufacturing sector services were pulled lower, too. Indeed, the two sectors' output trends during 2018 did already follow this pattern. (Also in this issue: Economic Minister Altmaier's National Industrial Strategy 2030, the German Federal Budget, lower total and rental inflation thanks to new basket, corporate lending in Germany, the view from Berlin) [more]
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February 28, 2019
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The outcome of the EU elections and the composition of the new Parliament will significantly influence the nomination and election of the next President of the European Commission (EC). Parliament will vote for the Council's proposed candidate in a secret ballot with a majority of component MEPs required. The election of the Commission President will be particularly challenging this year. Given the projected new balance of power after the elections both within the EP and within the Council as well as between the EP and the EU Council, an institutional stalemate cannot be ruled out. [more]
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February 13, 2019
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Ahead of the May 23–26 European Parliament elections, the EU is surrounded by internal and external challenges, its leaders increasingly divided, and its integrity and credibility challenged by Eurosceptic and anti-European groups across the continent. An extension of Article 50 could push the Brexit date close to or even beyond the European elections. Under EU treaties the UK would then be required to participate in the vote. The implications for the next EP – both if the UK agreed and refused to hold elections – could bear risks for the unanimity required in the European Council for an extension of Article 50 beyond the election date. [more]
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February 5, 2019
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Given much weaker than expected January business surveys and in particular the slump in their more forward-looking components we are now expecting the German economy to contract again in Q1 2019. Due to the yet unknown Q4 GDP outcome and its contradictory signals we currently refrain from formally revising our 1% GDP forecast lower again, but are expecting to shave off several tenths of a percentage point come February 22nd, unless the Statistical Offices Q4 GDP breakdown – and the new monthly data available by then – provide us with substantial positive surprises. While a technical recession might be avoided by a hair’s breadth with a positive Q4 number, the development of several key cyclical indicators is telling us that the German economy is drifting towards recession right now. [more]
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November 4, 2018
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GDP stagnation in Q3 – 2019 forecast lowered to 1.3%. Despite signs that the WLTP effect is subsiding the recovery looks set to be slow. Export expectations and business sentiment in general have become more clouded on the back of the US/China trade conflict, the problems in the EMs and overall heightened economic uncertainty. Whilst we expect the economy to get back on track in the winter half-year, expansion rates well above potential have become unlikely in 2019. We have therefore trimmed our 2019 growth forecast to 1.3% (1.7%). (Also included in this issue: Auto industry, labour migration, the race for Chancellor Merkel’s succession) [more]
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October 24, 2018
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Accelerated by the consequences of the financial/economic and migration crisis, the influence of anti-European, anti-migration movements with a populist playbook in the EU is growing. For the EU, the next crucial stocktaking of voters’ sentiment will be the 2019 elections for the European Parliament on 23-26 May. The European political landscape and with it the composition of national parliaments in the EU member states has changed over the last five years and in some countries substantially so. These shifts can be expected to be reflected in the next European Parliament as well, and – as already the case in the Council – impact European policymaking. [more]
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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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