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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.

256 Documents
November 4, 2019
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German exports and global trade have been moving in lockstep recently and more or less grinded to a halt in yoy terms. We found that the Bundesbank’s leading indicator for global industrial production leads German exports by 4 to 5 months. Recent declines in this indicator do speak against a recovery in German exports before the end of Q1 2020, despite recent signs of stabilization in German foreign order intake. (Also included in this issue: house prices in Germany, labour market, automotive industry and German politics) [more]
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September 30, 2019
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A new (green) 'fiscal deal' in Germany? The climate protection programme is no game changer for fiscal policies as it will be largely counter-financed by additional revenues. The ecological steering effect of the climate package is also limited since the initial carbon price will be low. Speculations that Germany will finally relent and embark on a decisive fiscal policy loosening have proved to be overplayed. We stick to our call that we will not see a fiscal package unless Germany enters a severe recession. Still, Germany’s budget surpluses are set to narrow considerably in 2019/20. (Also included in this issue: German labour market, industrial production, auto industry, the view from Berlin) [more]
2
August 22, 2019
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The digital transformation has enriched societal discourse through new forms of multilateral communication, but it has also amplified the spread of misinformation, echo chambers and propaganda, offering authoritarian states new means of surveillance and control. How democracies approach this challenge will be a key factor in their performance, given intensifying competition among political systems. [more]
3
August 19, 2019
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We see Germany in a technical recession, as we expect another ¼% GDP drop in Q3. Our forecast for 2019 is now 0.3%. Given no indication for a rebound we lowered our 2020 forecast to 0.7%. We acknowledge these revisions do not properly account for the recent accumulation of risks. Given the increasingly fragile state of the global economy, the realization of one or more risks could easily push the economy into a completely different scenario, where growth revisions of a few tenths of a percentage point will not be sufficient. (Also in this issue: German automotive industry, chemical industry, house prices, corporate lending, the view from Berlin, digital politics.) [more]
4
July 8, 2019
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In case of a snap election in Germany, a CDU/CSU-Greens coalition could be an option. Given both camps' radically different political positions in many areas, such a coalition would require both to make significant compromises. A black-green government would need to direct its focus and its available financial resources to climate protection and the energy transition. Corporates and consumers would have to bear considerable costs. This also spells a dilemma for fiscal policy. A larger share of government spending would necessarily have to be allocated to providing subsidies and mitigating the social impact of a quicker energy transition. Citizens and corporates cannot hope for major tax relief. (Also included in this issue: German goods exports, German industry, labour market, automotive business cycle.) [more]
5
May 23, 2019
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Results from the 23-26 May EU elections will not be published before late Sunday evening, final numbers not before Monday morning. Polls continue to indicate a loss of the conservatives' and social democrats' traditional majority while right-wing and left-wing Eurosceptics could gain more than 35% of the seats in the next EP. We do not expect any Council decisions on the next Commission President and other key positions before the June 20-21 summit. But negotiations between leaders on the EU's top jobs could last much longer and also a lengthy standoff between the Council and Parliament over the "Spitzenkandidaten" procedure cannot be excluded. [more]
6
May 21, 2019
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Digital taxation is currently a subject of intense debate and since large digital companies are widely thought to pay inappropriately low taxes, policymakers remain under pressure to act. However, all approaches which are based on the taxation of revenues instead of profits have major flaws. As digital services expand into ever new areas of the economy (‘smart everything’), the risk of a far-reaching, arbitrary taxation of entrepreneurial activities is increasing. Disruption, the buzzword of the digitalisation discussions, may become an issue in international tax policy, too. In addition to an (international) digital tax, minimum taxes are one of the concepts under discussion. [more]
7
May 20, 2019
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This edition of Focus Germany has quite a lot but rather short articles. We are taking stock of the German economy after Q1’s surprisingly strong growth. We expect the economy to flatline in Q2 and foresee an only subdued recovery in H2 given the recent flare-up of several geopolitical hotspots, rather than their hoped for de-escalation. We cross-check this analysis with deep dives into the auto and the mechanical engineering sector. We look at the impossible trinity of Germany’s fiscal policy (tax cuts, higher social expenditures and the black zero) and peek into the difficulties finance ministers are facing in the digital economy. We discuss to what extent the upcoming EP and Länder elections might spell more trouble for the Groko and introduce our new German financial conditions index. [more]
8
May 6, 2019
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The May European Parliament elections could see Germany's conservative CDU/CSU and Social Democrats lose a substantial share of votes compared to the last round in 2014, whereas the Greens could overtake the SPD and become the second strongest party. Compared to European peers, the appeal of the far-right AfD to German voters remains far more limited. Still, the AfD could expand its share and rank fourth, followed by the Liberals and the far-left Leftist party. Shifts of voters' support between centrist parties will not have a substantial impact on Germany's generally pro-European stance. However, these parties still represent different views on the future of the EU, e.g. regarding further EMU deepening. [more]
9
April 11, 2019
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Soft and hard EU(ro)sceptic as well as anti-establishment parties could account for one-quarter up to one-third of the seats in the next EP, according to our updated poll-based projections. We have doubts about whether Eurosceptic and nationalistic groups in the EP will be able to overcome their previous discrepancies and build a significantly more united bloc. However, even without a joint agenda, Eurosceptics could make coalition building (as on the national level) much more complex and increasingly split the next EP into two camps. [more]
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