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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

157 (51-60)
October 28, 2016
Region:
German wage growth slowed in H1 2016 and there is a range of factors that are likely to also put a lid on the pick-up in 2017. The impact of labour shortage is limited by material mismatch between the qualifications of the unemployed and those sought by employers as well as substantial immigration flows. High real wage gains have pushed up unit labour costs and weighed on corporate profitability, which is further undermined by low productivity growth. Cautious wage agreements in 2016 on average stipulate only 2% wage increases in 2017. Despite a 4% increase in the statutory minimum wage, aggregate wages should increase by only around 2 ½%. According to our forecasts, next year could see the growth rate for industrial production in Germany drop to 0.5% in real terms. Regarding output in Germany’s large industrial sectors we do not expect major outliers. Also in this issue: “The View from Berlin. All lights on the debates about personalities and tactical gambits.” [more]
51
September 27, 2016
Region:
Analyst:
The Climate Action Plan 2050 is intended to show how Germany can meet its climate change targets; it is currently out for consultation with Federal German government departments. There was intense public criticism when individual passages of an earlier draft of the plan were diluted at the instigation of the German Chancellery. In this political discussion, long-term political ideals are confronted by cautious (more realistic?) recent assessments of technological progress, the economies of scale achievable by climate-friendly technologies, and adoption by consumers. The Climate Action Plan remains vague in many important aspects, such as the technologies to be used to meet climate change targets, the approximate absolute costs that can be expected, the restrictions on consumer sovereignty and commercial freedom of choice that politicians are considering and the future infringement of ownership rights and vested interests. [more]
52
September 2, 2016
Region:
Against the backdrop of strong Q2 growth and the revision of historic data, we increase our GDP forecast for 2016 to 1.9% (from 1.7%). For 2017 we lower our growth forecast to 1.0% (from 1.3%). Muted wage growth will likely weigh on consumption growth and subdued exports as well as high global uncertainty might negatively impact equipment investments. Further topics in this issue: Fiscal balance, Current account surplus, Retail investors, German industry and View from Berlin. [more]
53
August 29, 2016
Region:
Analyst:
Nearly four years ago, the European Commission set its sights on increasing the share of manufacturing in total gross value added from 15.5% at that time to 20% by 2020. This target will probably not be met. After all, in 2015 the share of manufacturing was only around 15.6% and thus scarcely higher than in 2012. However, industry's contribution to EU output has at least stopped decreasing since 2012. Furthermore, industrial gross value added has picked up (slightly) in the EU in recent years in both nominal and real terms. In a few member states, there have been highly contrasting developments in the significance of manufacturing in the economy. It is striking that the industry share in the three large Eastern Europe member states has increased sharply since 2012. Spain and Italy have reported modest gains. Germany has seen its industry share decline slightly in 2015; however, at 22.8% it still far outstrips the EU average. [more]
54
August 24, 2016
Region:
Analyst:
The manufacturing sector is one of Germany's biggest employers. On average, more than 5.2 million people were working in manufacturing in the first half of 2016. This represents an increase of 6.3% compared with the beginning of 2005 – and comes in spite of the deep recession of 2008/2009. In the period under review, job growth was particularly strong in mechanical engineering, the food industry, the rubber and plastics industry, and the metals industry. Expansion of employment in German industry has slowed recently, however. Because of the low rate of global growth and muted investment activity, employment in the industrial sector is likely to stagnate up to 2017 – albeit at a high level. [more]
55
August 23, 2016
Region:
Many of the things that had us gasping in amazement when we watched science fiction films just a few decades ago have now become a mass-market reality. Today, Hollywood shows us what we can expect if we continue to develop digital technologies at the current pace. Of course, artificial intelligence and its use in all areas of our lives are undoubtedly still a long way off. However, substantial progress is being made especially when it comes to pattern recognition, modern data analysis and the use of self-learning algorithms. Without this technological progress, we would no longer be able to cope with the exponential growth in data volumes and data potential of which we can still only begin to conceive. We need the machines. [more]
56
July 6, 2016
Region:
Breathtaking. No other word really does justice to the profound changes unleashed by digitalisation and the accelerating pace at which new technologies are appearing. Of course, many of these technologies are still in their infancy and in some cases still have a rather visionary character, but they nevertheless hold unforeseen and lucrative potential. The race for digital technologies and successful monetisation strategies has been on for some time, especially among the large, well-known internet platforms. However, start-ups are increasingly throwing their hat into the ring and causing quite a stir among the business models of established companies. As a result, many innovation-stimulating digital technologies are gradually finding their way into traditional companies where they are evolving into a comparative competitive advantage (not only) for Germany as a business location. [more]
57
July 1, 2016
Region:
Analyst:
Following the UK referendum, Brexit will also leave traces on German industry. After all, 7.5% of all German exports went to the UK in 2015, making it Germany’s third most important export market after the United States and France. The automotive and pharmaceutical industries are likely to be hit the hardest by Brexit. This is because the UK accounts for 12.8% and 10.5%, respectively, of these two industries’ total exports. In addition, they both generally have an above-average export ratio. The UK referendum is likely to have an impact on individual companies’ investment decisions and German companies’ UK pricing structures in the short term. [more]
58
June 17, 2016
Region:
The Juncker Plan set out to boost investment in Europe and can show some progress so far. After operating for about a year, a total of EUR 12.8 bn financing of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) has been approved by the European Investment Bank and the European Investment Fund. This is expected to trigger EUR 100 bn of total investment according to estimates by the institutions. The European Commission has already called for extension of EFSI beyond the initial three year period ideally increasing its scale and scope. However, considerations about EFSI’s future need to be based on thorough evaluation of effectiveness and demonstrated added value. After the first year, there is -quite naturally- more information on activity than evidence on impact. To that effect, continuous monitoring and mid-term stock-taking are key to inform the debate about EFSI's future. [more]
59
June 2, 2016
Region:
Analyst:
Many of the environmental-performance targets of the German ‘Energiewende’ are in fact falling behind the time scale that is actually required – some of them are significantly behind schedule. Progress is largely achieved where major subsidies are provided via some form of support programme. Where there is no such support, or subsidies and incentives are small, or too small, targets are starting to be missed. One criticism is that no quantifiable targets have been drawn up in the areas of economics/efficiency and security of supply. If the current status of the ‘Energiewende’ had to be described in one sentence, it might be that Germany has probably taken on too much in too short a time. We believe there are four main limiting factors: cost, physical limits, the available time budget and political feasibility. [more]
60
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