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Focus Germany

Focus Germany deals with macroeconomic and economic policy issues in Germany. Each issue also contains a timetable of financial and economic policy events as well as a detailed data monitor of German economic indicators.

106 Documents
June 17, 2021
Region:
The demand for office space will be largely shaped by the development of home office over the decade. There is no doubt that remote work has the potential to reduce demand for office space substantially and uncertainty remains unusually high. But our projections show that even with a strong expansion of home office, demand for office space could remain high. We continue to expect that the traditional office will remain the hub of economic life. [more]
1
June 14, 2021
Region:
What is corporate Germany’s view on key election topics? A conservative-green government would be a novelty in German coalition history. Ahead of this critical political and economic juncture a lot is at stake for German corporates (e.g. energy prices in the context of climate policies, exit from state support, active industrial policy). Our proprietary survey offers unique insights into what 200 German companies are thinking. [more]
2
June 10, 2021
Region:
Q2 GDP should be o.k., despite April’s little stumble. Strong external demand and depleted finished goods inventories suggest a strong bounce back once current supply constraints ease. Consumers’ economic outlook and income expectations are improving. Together with an expected normalization of the savings rate that should provide a strong underpinning for consumption growth. We stick to our Q2 GDP forecast of close to 2% qoq and 4% for the whole year. The rate of inflation has been rising sharply since the start of 2021. With price dynamics continuing to outstrip expectations and given the prospect of stronger economic recovery in the summer, we now expect the annual average CPI inflation rate to rise to 2.8% in 2021, monthly numbers could even touch 4%. [more]
3
May 7, 2021
Region:
The catalysts for a strong expansion of the German economy during the summer half are falling into place: Global demand is picking up strongly and the vaccination momentum is finally accelerating. Given the slightly smaller than expected drop of Q1 GDP (-1.7%) and upward revisions to H2 2020, we have lifted our GDP forecast for 2021 from 3.7% to 4.0%. Meanwhile election polls are hanging firmly in the balance. The nominations of Annalena Baerbock and Armin Laschet as chancellor candidates have clearly helped the Greens to gain ground. The current shift in voters’ sentiment allows for a whole bunch of coalition options. [more]
4
May 4, 2021
Region:
Given the magnitude of the recent spike/fall in polls for the Greens/Conservatives, we were asking ourselves, whether such a spike might be a one-off and if approval rates are going to mean-revert any time soon? Looking at historical episodes of spikes in voter preferences indeed shows that most of the time, approval rates tended to (partly) mean revert after a couple of weeks. Still, the Greens clearly stand out with four out of the five most recent spikes working in their favour (hot and dry summer seasons '18 &'19, Fridays for Future movement, and disappointment with Covid measures). Where does that leave us with respect to the tight race in September? [more]
5
March 31, 2021
Region:
Merkel’s Conservatives currently face major problems. Approval rates are in free fall as trust in the government’s crisis management has eroded. The CDU/CSU is polling at pre-crisis levels of below 30% fuelling speculation that not only Merkel but the Conservatives in total might not be part of the next government. The announcement of their chancellor candidate is unlikely to turn the tide for the Conservatives. A bold election manifesto on how to bring Germany forward after the deficiencies revealed by the crisis combined with convincing core personal are needed. Coalition options are back in focus with the Greens being the kingmakers in all scenarios. The political talk of the day is a Green-led traffic light coalition also at the federal level. Still, a conservative-green government remains our baseline scenario, but it is not a foregone conclusion anymore. [more]
6
March 10, 2021
Region:
On March 14, regional elections in Baden-Württemberg (BW) and Rhineland-Palatinate (RP) will provide the first electoral test for the parties in the run-up to the federal elections. Polls see the ruling Greens in BW, respectively the SPD in RP in the lead, but uncertainty about the polls is higher this time given the fallout from the pandemic. Additional headwinds for the CDU result from a current political outrage over questionable procurement deals of two CDU/CSU Bundestag MPs. The new CDU party leader Laschet is not up for election but the performance of the CDU will of course be (partly) attributed to him. However, as long as the CDU is not experiencing a severe setback compared to its 2016 results, Laschet’s chances of being nominated as the CDU/CSU chancellor candidate remains intact in our view. [more]
7
March 1, 2021
Region:
The COVID-19-related restrictions on German public life in the winter half of 2020/21 have again noticeably limited the consumption possibilities of private households. Large parts of brick and mortar retail trade as well as service businesses relying on personal interaction had to close, tourism and most of the hospitality industry lie fallow. The unwinding of this pent-up demand will be key to a post-lockdown recovery. But how much momentum can be expected from a meltdown of additional savings induced by the COVID-19 restrictions? To quantify an answer to this question, we present two scenarios. A conservative scenario assumes that about 30% of additional savings will flow back into private consumption in 2021, while almost 70% would remain in household deposits or assets. In an upside scenario with 40% of the additional savings flowing back into spending in 2021 already, our private consumption forecast would be lifted by a good 1pp providing a ½ pp upside for German GDP in 2021. [more]
8
February 17, 2021
Region:
German GDP: Down (Q1) but not out (in 2021). The longer “hard” lockdown, weather-related losses in construction and impairments in car output due to chip supply problems have prompted us to cut our Q1 GDP forecast to -2% qoq. We continue to expect a strong rebound in the summer half propelled by healthy global demand, supportive fiscal and monetary policy and German households’ pent-up demand. Inflation: Now expecting 2% for 2021! The Jan print of 1% yoy surprised massively to the upside, in part due to one-offs. But the strong rise in core goods prices begs the question whether the Jan readings could herald stronger underlying inflation dynamics. There are still strong arguments for a continuation of structurally low inflation dynamics. However, we see risk that price dynamics could strengthen more strongly through impaired supply conditions. Overall, we now project the inflation rate to average 2.0% in 2021. Towards the end of 2021 the headline rate could spike to as much as 3% before easing to 1 ½% in Q1 2022. [more]
9
December 10, 2020
Region:
The COVID cycle and vaccination progress will drive the economy in 2021. We expect that infection rates will not come down decisively before Q2. By summer vaccination numbers should reach critical mass. A strong recovery starting in Q2 should yield an annual GDP increase of 4.5% after a 5.5% drop in 2020.
All attention on the super election year 2021: Germany is facing federal elections and multiple state elections. Our baseline scenario is a conservative-green government, but coalition talks will significantly test the willingness to compromise on both sides.
(Also in this issue: global trade and exports, private consumption, labour market, equipment and other investment, the German housing market, public finances, inflation, German industry's corona losses) [more]
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