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Sectors and Resources

The Sector Research team analyses cyclical and structural developments. On the basis of its findings it draws up business and policy recommendations for the major sectors. These include the important branches of industry as well as wholesale/retail, services, energy, transportation and environmental policy

121 Documents
March 16, 2018
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Nitrogen oxides emissions (NOx) in Germany plunged by 44% between 1995 and 2016. Road traffic recorded the sharpest decline (-62%). After the decision of the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig, however, certain diesel vehicles can be banned from inner cities. Apparently, there is a conflict of interests between the human right to clean ambient air and the protection of diesel car owners against an erosion of their vehicles‘ value. In our view, this conflict could be resolved over time. To this end, policymakers could, for instance, introduce a Blue Badge for low-emission diesel passenger cars, which is tied to a transitional period for older vehicles. [more]
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February 12, 2018
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German manufacturing industry ought to be at the peak in the current cycle. Domestic production in 2017 edged up by 3% in price-adjusted terms, which marks the strongest increase since 2011. At the same time, producer prices (+2.3%) also recorded the sharpest increase since 2011. Although industrial order intake continues to be very dynamic, several factors, including the strong euro and the recent slight dip in business expectations, suggest that growth momentum is likely to slow in the course of 2018. Against this backdrop, German industrial production looks set to rise by 2.5% in 2018. In the face of high wage settlements and plans to lower the limit on fixed-term contracts, German companies are likely to create fewer new jobs. [more]
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December 5, 2017
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The EU Commission proposed new mandatory CO₂ targets for passenger cars. These targets cannot be achieved with combustion engines alone. Stricter regulation thus enforces the electrification of the power train. However, the average car buyer currently does not play to the tune of regulatory policy and turns a cold shoulder on most alternative fuels. There are other climate policy instruments that outperform the CO₂ targets for passenger cars in terms of meeting the environmental targets and economic efficiency. [more]
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November 23, 2017
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Between 1990 and 2016, Germany reduced its greenhouse gas emissions (GHG emissions) by 27.6%. Excluding the significant downtrend in the first few years after the German reunification, GHG emissions still declined by more than 19% between 1995 and 2016. This is a considerable success, particularly in an international comparison. After all, global energy-related carbon emissions increased by more than 50% during the same period. [more]
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October 2, 2017
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The German retail sector has visibly lifted its sales forecast for 2017, up from 2% to 3%. The key driver is online retail, along with the currently very consumer-friendly economic environment in Germany, which strengthens consumers‘ purchasing power. The digitisation of the retail sector has in many respects become a challenge for the established stationary stores. But at the same time, it creates new opportunities for retailers to respond to changing consumer demands. The supermarket is, per se, not necessarily the loser, as is illustrated by the current success of multi-channel retail, which allows greater flexibility for the customers, thereby creating an entirely new shopping experience. [more]
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September 22, 2017
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German carmakers have recently lost market share in Western Europe and the USA, also – but not exclusively – due to the diesel debate. In China, the market share of German carmakers picked up again in the first half of 2017 vis-à-vis the preceding two years. Overall, chances are good the German automotive industry can in future at least maintain its position in the key global auto markets. [more]
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September 13, 2017
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Germans who want to buy a new car tend to focus on three issues: the price, the degree of comfort and security aspects. That is the conclusion of authors of the latest Aral car buying trends study. While environmental considerations now play a larger role – their importance rose by 5 pp, to 25%, in comparison to the 2015 survey – they still rank only 11th in the list of influencing factors and come behind aspects such as ergonomics or brand image. This appears somewhat surprising, particularly against the background of the heated discussions about excessive diesel car emissions (nitrogen oxides) in the last few months. [more]
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September 12, 2017
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German industrial policy has been cautious over the past few decades, especially in comparison with several other European countries. And this approach has been successful. The German government should continue to refrain from active industrial policy. Nevertheless, we believe that greater state engagement or a realignment of existing policy is vital in some areas. One area where we see a need for action is network infrastructure. When it comes to the shift in German energy policy, it would be sensible to focus more strongly on what is genuinely achievable. [more]
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August 10, 2017
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Robo-advisors are online investment platforms that use computer algorithms to manage client portfolios and are thus part of the FinTech universe. With their user-friendly, automated and low-cost services, robo-advisors pose a challenge to traditional financial advisory services and are growing fast. Online client onboarding is the most crucial step in this process, relying on questionnaires to figure out clients' preferences. Following a conservative approach in their asset selection, robo-advisors mainly invest in ETFs. Portfolio allocation is done via mean-variance optimisation and threshold-based rebalancing is utilised to maintain targeted asset weights. Wealthier and more educated clients are joining millennials as robo-advisory clients. Fees are considerably higher in the EU than in the US where robo-advisors’ AuM are much larger. Robo-advisors can contribute to financial inclusion, while their long-term success relies on a high degree of accuracy and suitability for clients. [more]
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