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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.

311 (261-270)
May 10, 2013
Region:
Demographic change has come far as an issue for medium-sized businesses. When it comes to the necessary investments, for example in further training, large family businesses are more advanced than small and medium-sized enterprises. Even though there is no threat of a general deficit in candidates for succession in the foreseeable future, succession arrangements need to be prioritised in many businesses as the number of companies ready for transfer is set to rise. Regardless of whether family succession or an external solution is chosen, transfers are often associated with significant risks. The economic and financial position of the company, the market environment and financial conditions play just as much a role as the motivation, interests and values of those involved. Given the complexity of the transfer and its huge importance in the company's history, experts recommend transfer management in which all the necessary steps are planned and implemented at an early stage. [more]
261
April 11, 2013
Region:
The current crisis has demonstrated that the eurozone is still a very heterogeneous economic area. As the common monetary policy cannot stabilise a country which experiences an asymmetric shock, there is a growing debate about whether the architecture of the eurozone needs to be complemented by fiscal stabilisation instruments. While the synchronisation of business cycles and an effective absorption of regional shocks would be in the interest of all the euro countries, the main question is how this could be put into practice without creating undesirable incentives. After all, a deeper fiscal integration would hardly be manageable without redistribution components. [more]
262
April 2, 2013
Region:
For the third year in a row now, monthly surveys such as the ifo business climate and the Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) indicate that the economy seems to be running out of steam in spring following a significant upswing around the turn of the year. In our latest World Outlook we now expect that EMU GDP will not pick up until Q3, so we have reduced our forecast for the 2013 average to -0.6% (2014: +1.0%). However, we have not revised down our relatively cautious growth forecast for Germany (2013: +0.3%; 2014: +1.5%). [more]
263
March 1, 2013
Region:
There is much to suggest that the economy returned to a growth path – albeit only a modest one – in the first quarter after a 0.6% contraction of real GDP in the closing quarter of 2012. New order intake and industrial output had already begun to pick up in December, so there was a growth overhang in production from the outset in Q1. Besides, business sentiment had already started to brighten four months ago. [more]
264
February 28, 2013
Region:
Since 1997, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Germany have raised their average equity ratio substantially from 6% to 22%, not least as a reaction to more stringent lending requirements by banks. At the same time, SMEs’ dependence on bank loans declined
whose share in total assets dropped to just 26% from 37%.
Large differences remain between private and public firms. [more]
265
January 28, 2013
Region:
We expect a recovery to set in approximately in spring this year on the back of a stabilising euro area and more buoyant emerging markets. Owing to the low starting point, however, annual average growth will probably come to no more than 1/4% in 2013. Nonetheless, the labour market is expected to remain relatively stable. With oil prices forecast to stabilise, consumer prices will probably rise less strongly this year. Public-sector budgets look set to deteriorate for cyclical reasons in 2013. However, with a deficit of only about 1/2% of GDP, Germany would still be in an excellent position by international standards. [more]
266
January 16, 2013
The Foreign Account Tax Compliance (FATCA) provisions of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code comprise an important broadening of the international reach of the U.S. tax system. This law is aimed at countering tax evasion by U.S. citizens and residents who receive earnings from assets held offshore. Currently a growing number of Intergovernmental Agreements between the United States and partner countries are being negotiated to overcome the conflict of laws issues raised by the application of FATCA as well as to simplify implementation and reduce compliance costs. [more]
267
January 4, 2013
Region:
National elections will be held in Germany in the autumn of 2013. The election campaign will be shaped, above all, by personality issues, second by the stance towards the euro crisis, and third by some modest domestic social policy issues. Steinbrück receives good ratings for tax issues and leads over Merkel on social issues but Chancellor Merkel benefits from a solid economy and her stance on euro politics, reflected in her high popularity. Steinbrück and the Greens are outspoken on stricter banking regulation and a separation of investment banking from commercial banking. Merkel and her coalition have kept a low profile on this issue so far but the banks will remain under scrutiny. [more]
268
November 27, 2012
Region:
For the EU members that have ratified it, the Fiscal Compact is set to come into force at the beginning of 2013. Among other things, the signatories to the Compact pledge to introduce a debt brake at the national level by 2014. Our progress report shows that numerous euro countries have already implemented debt brakes, five of which have constitutional status. Others, by contrast, still have to provide evidence that they are serious about the institutional anchoring of sound fiscal policy. [more]
269
November 14, 2012
Region:
Since the start of 2011 the financial and sovereign debt crises have forced roughly half the governments in the euro area to accept a premature end to their term of office. So far, the elections in the crisis countries have established the conservative camp as the clear winner at the polls. The established major parties continue to dominate the political system in many countries. Nevertheless, the electoral successes of right-wing populist and newly established left-wing factions may hamper the formation of properly functioning governments in future. If the economic outlook for the young generation does not improve, this trend could continue. [more]
270
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