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COVID-19: The Germans are starting to get restless (again)

October 8, 2020
After the summer break new cases have picked up strongly in most of Germany’s neighboring countries. In many cases (France, Spain, UK, Netherlands, Poland, Czech Republic), numbers are (by far) exceeding the peaks reported in spring or are back at these levels (Belgium, Austria). Various governments have introduced new measures, such as Paris shutting down parts of the hospitality and leisure sector, and Spain ordering a partial lockdown in Madrid, albeit not as encompassing as in April. In other countries, social distancing and mask-wearing rules have been tightened or are being discussed. [more]

More documents about "Germany"

298 Documents
February 17, 2021
German GDP: Down (Q1) but not out (in 2021). The longer “hard” lockdown, weather-related losses in construction and impairments in car output due to chip supply problems have prompted us to cut our Q1 GDP forecast to -2% qoq. We continue to expect a strong rebound in the summer half propelled by healthy global demand, supportive fiscal and monetary policy and German households’ pent-up demand. Inflation: Now expecting 2% for 2021! The Jan print of 1% yoy surprised massively to the upside, in part due to one-offs. But the strong rise in core goods prices begs the question whether the Jan readings could herald stronger underlying inflation dynamics. There are still strong arguments for a continuation of structurally low inflation dynamics. However, we see risk that price dynamics could strengthen more strongly through impaired supply conditions. Overall, we now project the inflation rate to average 2.0% in 2021. Towards the end of 2021 the headline rate could spike to as much as 3% before easing to 1 ½% in Q1 2022. [more]
February 2, 2021
If green hydrogen is to make a significant contribution to climate-friendly energy supply in the future, it will need to be produced (1) in large quantities, (2) cost-efficiently and (3) using low-carbon methods. Any solutions to these problems have remained in the realm of theory so far. Additional challenges arise in connection with the transport and storage of hydrogen. Initially, green hydrogen will be used to satisfy large-scale demand at specific locations, for example in energy-intensive industries. Like many other climate-friendly technologies, hydrogen will need government subsidies in the beginning. In the longer run, hydrogen might be used in the transport sector as well, for example as aircraft or ship fuel. In theory, hydrogen is highly versatile. However, it is quite expensive, too. That is one reason why hydrogen will probably make only a small contribution to the national and global energy transition in the next one or two decades. [more]
January 28, 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered unusual cyclical volatility in the German auto sector. However, structural challenges are much more relevant for the sector - some stemming from regulatory framework conditions (i.e. EU CO2 targets for new cars), others from market developments. Traditional factors which determine a country’s attractiveness as an industrial location, such as the tax burden on corporates, wages or working time flexibility, have recently deteriorated in Germany, at least in an international comparison. Germany’s share in both global and European car production may decline over the coming years. The German car industry is better prepared for the electric mobility future and other structural challenges than Germany as a production location. [more]
January 25, 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has already changed and will continue to change working conditions in the long run. Companies have opened up for work from home solutions and hybrid work models seem to be the future. The recent increase in flexibility will enable companies to realise efficiency gains. On its own, however, remote working does not necessarily increase productivity per se. As employees work remotely, serendipity suffers. In Germany, demand for traditional office space appears likely to weaken in the medium term but the decline is likely to be smaller than the initial euphoria for remote working suggested. Demographic developments will considerably reduce the German workforce. Remote working may help to ensure workforce participation. We expect that working at the office and remote working will be combined in some way in the future - work from home has come to stay. [more]
December 16, 2020
The COVID-19 crisis has intensified the lack of profitable low-risk investments, which is why numerous investors probably regard the German residential market as an attractive alternative to the bond markets. Rental returns have been trending downwards for ten years now, and the development looks set to continue until the spread between rental returns and low-risk bond yields has narrowed significantly further. [more]
December 10, 2020
The COVID cycle and vaccination progress will drive the economy in 2021. We expect that infection rates will not come down decisively before Q2. By summer vaccination numbers should reach critical mass. A strong recovery starting in Q2 should yield an annual GDP increase of 4.5% after a 5.5% drop in 2020.
All attention on the super election year 2021: Germany is facing federal elections and multiple state elections. Our baseline scenario is a conservative-green government, but coalition talks will significantly test the willingness to compromise on both sides.
(Also in this issue: global trade and exports, private consumption, labour market, equipment and other investment, the German housing market, public finances, inflation, German industry's corona losses) [more]
December 7, 2020
There’s no denying that the federal budget is increasingly in trouble. It may have been the right decision, and an important one at that, to loosen the shackles on the financial assistance and add supplementary aid schemes, but it must be ensured that things don’t get out of hand. If it keeps a lid on the likely pressure to consolidate, the government will need to pull out all the stops to preserve its fiscal resources by making more efficient use of them as the crisis progresses. The new federal government will face major challenges and weighty decisions in fiscal and economic policy. After all, it will ultimately have to manage putting the public finances back on solid ground without overly squeezing the economy with even more burdensome taxes and contributions. There is probably no way around a major reckoning next autumn after the Bundestag parliamentary elections. [more]
December 4, 2020
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]
December 3, 2020
Mankind has survived all kinds of pandemics, even the plague. However, humans are ill-equipped when confronted with an invisible danger. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has four important features which almost certainly overstretch the human analytical capacity: Time-lags, external effects, nonlinearities and complexity. We cannot escape our biases when deliberating COVID-19 . But being aware of them might yield more cautious and less apodictic views. Our evolutionary success can be traced to the fact that we became “social animals” with these biases often enhancing a smooth cooperation. Now it is on the society and its institutions to make sure that they do not cause people turning against society. [more]
November 27, 2020
Early this year, the government had to put together massive bailout and aid packages in next to no time in order to avert an imminent economic collapse. However, cash outflow from immediate assistance and interim aid schemes have so far fallen considerably short of the expectations. As a result, the funds budgeted for this purpose have not been nearly utilised to their full extent. In light of November’s partial lockdown, the government has now decided to increase the dose of its financial aid to solo self-employed, freelancers as well as small and medium-sized companies. Consequently, the mere ripple of support often bemoaned in this area could ultimately gather enough strength yet to become a mighty wave. The provision of aid over the further course of the crisis is to be strictly guided by necessity, effectiveness and appropriateness as fiscal resources are limited and the state cannot provide unlimited comprehensive cover. [more]
November 6, 2020
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]
November 2, 2020
Q3 GDP surprise: A rear mirror view – but obstacles right in front. With the partial lockdown during November, the economy will almost certainly see another negative quarter, even in an optimistic scenario where restrictions succeed in squashing new infections and will be completely abolished by the end of November. Prepare the German healthcare sector for regional bottlenecks – protect risk groups better: The number of patients in intensive care and hospital capacity is just as important as the number of new infections. We estimate that 400,000 acutely infected patients are the limit for intensive care units. (Also in this issue: inflation outlook, German labour market, corporate insolvencies, German auto industry, global construction industry, German corona policy, open borders in the EU) [more]