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Exuberance and fear

October 31, 2013
Region:
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]

More documents from Jochen Moebert

86 (85-86)
July 1, 2013
Region:
85
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]
March 15, 2011
Region:
86
Of course it is important to keep close tabs on the path of inflation going forward – especially in view of a volatile oil price – and the ECB has spoken also in this context of its “strong vigilance”. Yet an inflation rate of 2% or perhaps 2 ½% in the coming months largely represents a reversion to the normal pattern following the recession-induced lows of the past two years, driven mainly by oil and food prices. In any event, on the assumption that food and oil prices return to normal our DB Research inflation model forecasts no dramatic surge in inflation. We are aware, though, that some of the structural changes of the past decades may have reduced the meaningfulness of the forecasts produced by such a model. [more]
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