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Structural growth limitations

July 31, 2013
Region:
In this issue we look at two structural aspects of the German economy which provide speed limiters for GDP growth. The first is the interplay of foreign and domestic demand with implications for the current cyclical forecast. The second is the demographic implications for German labour supply which will be the biggest bottleneck for the economy’s long term growth potential. [more]

More documents from Heiko Peters

40 (37-40)
October 31, 2013
Region:
37
Recently, the labour market has been marked by rising unemployment alongside a sustained increase in overall employment. The surprisingly strong increase in unemployment in September was reported by some newspapers as a "stalling German jobs miracle". The labour market upswing is still intact. Leading indicators suggest that the increase in employment is likely to accelerate again towards year-end. We expect the number of persons in employment to rise by 230,000 to a record high of 42.3 million in 2014.
In October the IAB released a new leading indicator for the short-term development of the labour market. In contrast to other leading indicators of the labour market the IAB index aims to forecast the change in the number of unemployed instead of the number of employed. The new index is a good predictor of the monthly changes in the number of unemployed, however, from a growth perspective employment is the more important indicator.
The increase in German house prices since 2008 has triggered concerns about the beginning of a housing boom. Our analysis of OECD house price cycles reveals that the current German upswing has been moderate so far compared to past German upswings and is one of the least pronounced among the cycles in OECD countries. We expect that real house prices continue to increase in Germany in the coming years, but that the formation of a bubble is rather unlikely thanks to no sign of excess in other relevant factors (e.g. labour market and credit growth). [more]
July 1, 2013
Region:
38
The findings of the latest Pew Research Center survey paint an impressive picture of the economic divergences within the euro area. The share of respondents in Germany assessing the current situation as “good”, for instance, has risen from 63% in 2007 to 75% currently, while this share has slumped heavily in all other European countries included in the survey.
German companies have made particular use of the opening up of eastern Europe and the emerging markets to establish global production chains and thereby strengthen their competitive position. Policymakers should therefore do their utmost to reduce the impediments to the international division of labour.
Has the east German housing market turned the corner? We find positive price-income relations in growing towns and – somewhat surprisingly – a negative relationship in shrinking towns. Our forecasts indicate a further differentiation among towns in east Germany in the years ahead. The following economic reasons may explain the finding: higher cost per capita of infrastructure in growing towns, path dependency of building costs and domestic migration. [more]
April 30, 2013
Region:
39
Over the past few days sentiment has brightened considerably in Germany, and there are even signs of euphoria in some places – Munich and Dortmund in particular. But unlike Germany's two Champions League semi-finalists the economic releases of late have been a sobering disappointment following the encouraging data at the start of the year. For this reason we have slightly lifted our forecast for German Q1 GDP growth from 0.1% qoq to 0.3%. At the same time, though, we cut our expectations for Q2 from 0.4% to 0.2%. On balance this leaves the annual average unchanged at 0.3%. [more]
March 1, 2013
Region:
40
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]
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