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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.

309 (181-190)
June 18, 2015
Analyst:
Industry 4.0 (also known as integrated industry, industrial internet) is currently the subject of intense debate. This megatrend sets out to change the way goods and services are created and distributed, reshaping the industrial landscape on a national and global scale. China intends to play a leading role in this digital evolution. A wide range of policies have been initiated and sizeable progress in various areas has been made. The country is determined to seize the outstanding opportunity at hand, as the recently unveiled “Made in China 2025” plan underlines. China still has a long road ahead. However, with its new plan it combines a long-term vision with concrete actions in the proclaimed “Year of Innovation”. [more]
181
June 1, 2015
Region:
The Q1 GDP details provide some comfort relative to the disappointing 0.3% qoq headline number. Final domestic demand was up 0.8% qoq while net-exports as well as inventories both provided a drag. Thus, our 2015 story of GDP growth driven by strong domestic demand remains intact. Despite this, we lower our 2015 GDP forecast from 2.0% to 1.6%. This is primarily due to the weaker-than-expected Q1 GDP growth that provides a lower starting base for 2015. However, we still expect quarterly growth rates to average a healthy 0.4% qoq in 2015. Further topics in this issue: Construction investment: Sharp increase expected, but focus on downside risks, The view from Berlin. German politics: Quarrel among friends and families. [more]
182
May 28, 2015
Region:
Analyst:
The German government is sticking to its target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40% from the 1990 level by 2020. As it currently seems doubtful that the target will be achieved, Minister of Economics Sigmar Gabriel suggests introducing an additional climate contribution for older electricity power plants with particularly high CO2-emissions. Especially older lignite-based power plants would be affected by such a measure. And this at a time when many power plants are under pressure anyway due to changes in the investment strategies of a large Scandinavian investor. [more]
183
May 27, 2015
Region:
Analyst:
The period up to 2025 offers the German steel industry good prospects for a stable and economically sound future. However, this requires policymakers to take a reasonable approach to the further development of the regulatory framework for steel producers and their customer industries in Germany just as it requires only a modest level of expansion in steel capacity at global level. There are also other conceivable scenarios with greater risks, challenges and consequences for the German steel industry and its employees – and these alternatives are in no way completely improbable. [more]
184
May 26, 2015
Region:
Analyst:
At sectoral level, the positive effects of the euro's current weakness are clearly outweighing its drawbacks. Capital equipment manufacturers are benefiting the most from the increasing price competitiveness offered by Germany as a business location. In 2014, the automotive industry generated 45.5% of its total revenue from non-EMU countries, while the proportion for the mechanical engineering sector was almost 43%. Parts of the electrical engineering, chemicals and pharmaceutical industries are also especially benefiting from the recent devaluation in the euro. [more]
185
May 8, 2015
Region:
The latest population projections by Germany's Federal Statistical Office once again highlight the Herculean task of coping with demographic change. Once immigration begins to fall from its current temporary high, the fair weather in the labour market caused by rising employment figures may already turn cloudy within the next ten years. Consistent political action in the fields of old-age provision and long-term care is required given rising life expectancy and the expected doubling of the number of the very elderly. [more]
186
April 30, 2015
Region:
The financial situation of German households continued to improve markedly in 2014. The good income situation enabled them to make new investments to the tune of EUR 160 bn. In addition, the valuation gains on existing financial assets came to EUR 53 bn. Overall, total gross household financial assets thus increased from EUR 5 tr to EUR 5.2 tr (180% of GDP). Nothing has fundamentally changed with regard to the minimal risk appetite of German investors; risk-bearing investments still constitute less than 25% of financial assets. However, their share of new investments climbed to 11%. Furthermore, in 2014 EUR 20.5 bn of new debt was taken on. Both developments have probably been heavily influenced by the low-interest rate environment and are likely to continue in 2015 given the monetary policy outlook. [more]
187
April 28, 2015
Region:
Populist parties are gaining momentum in countries across Europe. Their profiles may be fundamentally different, but they are united in rejection of further steps towards European integration. Despite successes at national level, no noteworthy influence has been wielded by Eurosceptic parties at the European level to date. However, populist parties could shape European politics in the future by blocking progress in political areas that require broad consensus in particular. Established parties could then be forced to follow a course aligned more strongly with putative national interests. This could mean that reforms are not implemented on time or in full, thus preventing the required further development of the institutions of the eurozone. [more]
188
April 20, 2015
In Europe, Switzerland and Germany have long trailed at the bottom of the league in terms of residential ownership, despite increases versus the 1990s. The reasons for this are complex: both countries have a relatively well developed rental market – to some extent the reason for and the consequence of the lower owner share. [more]
189
April 17, 2015
Region:
Analyst:
Roughly 100 days have passed since the introduction of the minimum wage, and the Minister of Labour Andrea Nahles is already calling it a success story. However, we would urge caution given the considerable time lags with the effects of the minimum wage of EUR 8.50 per hour. In the medium term, we continue to expect clearly negative effects on employment and a missing of the targets of a more just income distribution and fiscal relief. In the medium term, we still expect a negative employment effect of 800,000 persons in line with our ex-ante study "Minimum wage of EUR 8.50 per hour: Grand Coalition on the wrong track". [more]
190
30.5.0