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Midyear review: Real economy on track, but higher inflation

June 10, 2021
Region:
Q2 GDP should be o.k., despite April’s little stumble. Strong external demand and depleted finished goods inventories suggest a strong bounce back once current supply constraints ease. Consumers’ economic outlook and income expectations are improving. Together with an expected normalization of the savings rate that should provide a strong underpinning for consumption growth. We stick to our Q2 GDP forecast of close to 2% qoq and 4% for the whole year. The rate of inflation has been rising sharply since the start of 2021. With price dynamics continuing to outstrip expectations and given the prospect of stronger economic recovery in the summer, we now expect the annual average CPI inflation rate to rise to 2.8% in 2021, monthly numbers could even touch 4%. [more]

More documents from Barbara Boettcher

101 Documents
September 6, 2021
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1
With less than three weeks to go until the German federal election, we put together a succinct presentation to address the following questions:

#1: Is the SPD boom yet another spike in voter preferences – that is going to mean-revert?
#2: How do policy platforms compare and where are the parties’ red lines?
#3: Which coalition option is most likely to materialize?
#4: Is a leftish red-red-green coalition a possibility at all?
#5: Are there any procedural stumbling blocks? How long might the Merkel government act as a caretaker government?
#6: What could fiscal, climate, distribution, and housing policies look like in a new three-way coalition?
#7: What is the likely impact on Germany’s potential growth?

In addition to summarizing our election outlook, we include snapshots of recently published research on how key policy areas like climate, energy, EU, distribution, and fiscal policy might be shaped by the next government. [more]
August 26, 2021
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2
Polls are in flux. The SPD – pulled up by popular frontrunner FM Scholz – has exploited the conservatives’ ongoing weakness and turned a seemingly hopeless endeavour into a neck-and-neck race. In parallel, the Greens are stumbling. In the midst of this volatile political atmosphere, postal voting has started. As most postal voters intend to cast their vote quickly, there is little time left for the faltering conservatives and Greens to regain voters’ support. [more]
August 23, 2021
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3
While the Conservatives’ position in the polls seems to be in free fall for now, the FDP has regained standing with the voters just in time for the federal election in September. According to current polls, only three-way party coalitions have a majority, hence, the Liberals could end up as the new kingmakers, clearly favouring a coalition with the Conservatives and the Greens (Jamaica) over a traffic-light coalition with the SPD and the Greens. But there are still five weeks to go and the election race is as open as ever. [more]
August 19, 2021
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4
For the German federal elections in September, about 60m voters are called to cast their ballot. Despite more than half of voters being 50 years and above, it would still be too far-fetched to say that Germany has become a so-called gerontocracy, where the interests of the older dominate the political process. Moreover, the pandemic could curb participation among all age groups. [more]
July 27, 2021
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5
The recent flood caused by heavy rain was among the most severe natural disasters hitting Germany since reunification. More than 170 people lost their lives and many private homes and public buildings, roads and municipal infrastructure were destroyed. Since the flooding occurred in regions with low industrial density, the expected negative impact on overall economic activity, in particular on industrial production, should be relatively limited. Still, the regional impact on agricultural production (such as wine-growing) might be significant. Some of the most recent polls already fully capture post-flood views. As expected, there is no big shift in voter preferences. The events will likely confirm voters' previous choices. [more]
July 12, 2021
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6
All eyes are on the next government’s EU fiscal stance. The Greens are advocating looser debt rules and turning the NGEU into a permanent fiscal capacity. However, in the two most plausible coalition scenarios, the Greens have to find common ground with either the Conservatives (black-green coalition) or the Liberals (traffic light coalition). Both call for re-instating the debt rules in the post-pandemic world and emphasize the one-off nature of the NGEU. Thus, we do not expect any significant shift of Germany’s EU fiscal policy course. The odds of an election surprise contributing to a stronger EUR remain low. The autumn debate about the reform of the SGP will be the first proof of this new/old fiscal stance. Beyond the immediate focus of financial markets, we also sketch which impulses we expect from the next German government in the areas of EU climate, trade, foreign policies and institutional reform. With respect to putting the Green Deal to work, we expect Germany to role-model green transformation at measured pace. The German response to this week’s “Fit for 55” legislative proposals is likely to be mixed. [more]
June 21, 2021
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7
At last, the Conservatives revealed their 140-page election manifesto earlier this afternoon. The manifesto is centered on the key themes of stability and, as Laschet put it, “the triad of climate change, economic strength and social security” in a modernised state. The Conservatives (faithful to their name) thereby differentiate themselves from the Greens’ focus on faster change and transformation. We provide a summary of the key messages regarding EU, fiscal and climate policies in our note. [more]
June 14, 2021
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8
For the Greens, the goal of leading the next government seems to have become harder to reach over the last couple of weeks as polls suggest a certain disenchantment of the electorate with the party and its frontrunner. We do not expect the just approved election manifesto (more left than centre) to provide them with enough momentum to switch back into offensive mode in the election campaign. Still, the Greens can still regain momentum over the next few months, for example due to a hot summer, the resurgence of climate protests and a public perception that change is a precondition to modernization. [more]
June 14, 2021
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9
What is corporate Germany’s view on key election topics? A conservative-green government would be a novelty in German coalition history. Ahead of this critical political and economic juncture a lot is at stake for German corporates (e.g. energy prices in the context of climate policies, exit from state support, active industrial policy). Our proprietary survey offers unique insights into what 200 German companies are thinking. [more]
June 2, 2021
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10
Next Sunday’s regional election in the small eastern German state Saxony-Anhalt is the last electoral test in the run-up to the federal election in September. Polls suggest that the CDU will remain the strongest political force, despite being challenged by the right-wing AfD. Even a narrow win would be a positive for the CDU’s federal campaign. Whereas an AfD victory would be a (non-lethal) blow for Laschet’s election campaign. The federal election campaign is just heating up. The electorate seems a little disenchanted with Greens and their chancellor candidate, allowing the Conservatives to regain the lead in the neck-and-neck race in the polls. Still, the two parties are polling too close to speak of a turning point (yet). [more]
May 7, 2021
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11
The catalysts for a strong expansion of the German economy during the summer half are falling into place: Global demand is picking up strongly and the vaccination momentum is finally accelerating. Given the slightly smaller than expected drop of Q1 GDP (-1.7%) and upward revisions to H2 2020, we have lifted our GDP forecast for 2021 from 3.7% to 4.0%. Meanwhile election polls are hanging firmly in the balance. The nominations of Annalena Baerbock and Armin Laschet as chancellor candidates have clearly helped the Greens to gain ground. The current shift in voters’ sentiment allows for a whole bunch of coalition options. [more]
May 4, 2021
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12
Given the magnitude of the recent spike/fall in polls for the Greens/Conservatives, we were asking ourselves, whether such a spike might be a one-off and if approval rates are going to mean-revert any time soon? Looking at historical episodes of spikes in voter preferences indeed shows that most of the time, approval rates tended to (partly) mean revert after a couple of weeks. Still, the Greens clearly stand out with four out of the five most recent spikes working in their favour (hot and dry summer seasons '18 &'19, Fridays for Future movement, and disappointment with Covid measures). Where does that leave us with respect to the tight race in September? [more]
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