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Germany Monitor

In the "Germany Monitor" series we address political and structural issues which have great significance for Germany. These include commentaries on elections and political decisions, as well as technology and industry issues, and macro-economic topics which go beyond the business cycle matters addressed in "Focus Germany".

115 (11-20)
December 4, 2020
Region:
Germany’s main stock market index, Dax, is undergoing its biggest rule makeover so far. The number of constituents will rise from 30 to 40, trading volume will be dropped as a selection criterion and new members must have been profitable for two years before first-time admission. Governance standards are also tightened. While the index will become more diversified and slightly “younger” as a result, the enlargement will not reduce the massive overweight of the manufacturing sector. The new profitability requirement creates a questionable bias against young and rising start-ups. Furthermore, index rules cannot solve the fundamental problems hindering a stronger stock market (culture) in Germany – only policymakers can and should. Germany’s share in global market cap is only about half of its weight in the global economy. The most valuable company in the world is worth more than the entire future Dax 40 combined. [more]
11
November 6, 2020
Region:
The corporate sector in Germany and particularly SMEs have become more resilient in terms of funding which should help them weather the corona shock. Current financing conditions also remain favourable: banks have hardly tightened lending standards, the government has issued unprecedented credit guarantees and the ECB is eagerly buying corporate bonds. Nonetheless, corporate insolvencies will rise as a result of the deep recession. Because the government has temporarily waived the obligation to file for bankruptcy, insolvency numbers have continued to fall until now but this may change soon. Rising loan losses will have a significant impact on German banks which are already exhausted by years of zero interest rates and low structural growth. With loan loss provisions possibly tripling, the banking industry will probably record a net loss this year. [more]
12
September 9, 2020
Region:
The corona crisis has forced many employees to work from home. A consensus seems to be emerging that this is becoming the new normal. Many companies have already offered their employees the option to work from home for several days per week, even post-COVID. An enforceable right for employees to work from home would imply that employers must compensate employees for the additional living space required for home offices. In this paper we analyse the long-term implications of such legislation. We find serious side effects, in particular for the real estate market and the labour market. [more]
13
July 13, 2020
Region:
In 2019, net migration to Germany amounted to +327,100, a significant decrease compared to the previous years. Particularly striking is the sharp decline in immigration from Poland and the sharp increase in the number of immigrants from India. In 2020, immigration is likely to collapse due to the COVID-19 crisis. Subsequently, we expect higher number again. The migration over the coming years might be driven by the skilled worker immigration law which came into force in March 2020. Also, the very good epidemiological situation in Germany compared with many other countries might be a pull factor. If net migration then returns to more than 300,000 people per year, the population is likely to rise from 83.2 million today to over 84 million by the early 2030s. [more]
14
May 5, 2020
Region:
The corona crisis is currently overshadowing all other aspects of the German property market. On the assumption of a strong recovery in the second half of the year structural issues will return to the foreground and the pandemic will slow down, but not bring an end to the German property cycle. In this report we look into both the negative effects of the crisis and fundamental factors and assess the outcome for the German house and office market. A flight to safety and the potential increased immigration could have a positive impact in the medium term. [more]
15
May 5, 2020
Region:
Analyst:
Due to the coronavirus, production in the manufacturing sector in Germany is expected to fall by roughly 10% to 15% in real terms in 2020. Society and business will learn to live with the coronavirus and weigh up health, social and economic risks in the process. In 2021, industrial production could rise by more than 10% in real terms on average over the course of the year. However, overall we see a risk that Germany may become less attractive as an industrial location over the coming years. Policymakers and industrial companies are likely to view the crisis surrounding the coronavirus as an opportunity to make important political decisions and get structural reforms off the ground, as they should. [more]
16
February 27, 2020
Region:
The key message: If the Berlin rent cap is constitutional, the situation for investors will change dramatically. The realignment of housing policy in Berlin and the rent cap represent a radical attempt to sideline market-based mechanisms. We believe the economic supercycle in Berlin will continue undiminished and Berlin remains an attractive market for long-term oriented investors. The negative effects of the rent cap on the housing market are likely to emerge clearly in the long run. [more]
17
January 9, 2020
Region:
Analyst:
The shift towards alternative propulsion technologies, such as e-mobility, is currently the biggest challenge for the global auto industry. So far, this structural change is driven mainly by government regulation and not so much by market forces. At the moment, electric vehicles only have significant market shares if they are heavily subsidised. While e-cars can help to reduce carbon emissions in the EU, the favourable climate effect will be smaller than many supporters of electric mobility expect. A higher market share of e-cars will lead to manageable job losses in the German auto industry; however, local factors are key for value added. [more]
18
November 21, 2019
Region:
Analyst:
As German policymakers plan to do without nuclear power, coal and lignite in the future, natural gas remains the last traditional source for power generation. And since Germany targets complete climate neutrality by 2050, natural gas will also be a transitional source of energy – nothing more and nothing less. The completion and operation of Nord Stream II is clearly in line with the declared goals of German energy policy. Nord Stream II will improve supply security and pipeline gas, such as that delivered by Nord Stream II, is more environmentally friendly than LNG. [more]
19
March 14, 2019
Region:
The house price cycle in Germany should remain in place in 2019. But we expect much more divergence across regions and a heavily increasing complexity of causal impact channels. Led by immigration and the continuous labour market uptrend, house prices and rents will likely continue to rise. The risk of overvaluations and a full-blown price bubble in the German housing market is rising. However, the price uptrend is likely to continue for years to come, in Germany as a whole and in most major cities. In this report we look at the housing markets in Munich, Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Düsseldorf, Stuttgart and Leipzig and we comment on the German office market. [more]
20
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