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German GDP up 0.5% in 2013 – despite slowdown in H2

September 3, 2013
We have lifted our forecast for 2013 GDP growth in Germany from 0.1% to 0.5%. This is not based on a more bullish assessment of H2's growth dynamics, though. Our call results instead from the growth surge due to one-off effects in Q2 (0.7% yoy) and from revisions to the 2012 performance as these produced a smaller statistical underhang and thus lead to a higher annual average for 2013. [more]

More documents from Stefan Schneider

109 (97-108)
December 12, 2013
International criticism of Germany’s current account surpluses has reached new heights. The persistent surpluses are often seen as worsening, if not causing, the European crisis by impairing the peripherals’ capacity to export. Still, even taken individually, most arguments put forward do not hold water. As there is little evidence that Germany is manipulating relevant parameters, one should accept that the surpluses are the result of individual decisions of largely private agents in Germany and abroad. Politicians and commentators may be unhappy with the result, but they should not blame Germany. Rather, they ought to insist that the peripheral countries continue to improve their own competitiveness. Higher minimum wages and rising social security contributions will be a burden for the domestic economy in the medium term and hence weigh on import growth. [more]
November 29, 2013
The coalition intends to hugely increase pension benefits, introduce a minimum wage and increase public spending. There is as little provision for tax hikes (SPD campaign issues) as for tax relief (CDU and CSU pledges). Trend growth, in particular labour supply, will be weakened. Inefficiencies in energy policy will be inadequately addressed. The sustainability of public finances will be substantially reduced. [more]
November 4, 2013
The current negotiations between CDU/CSU and SPD towards forming a government point to the implementation, for the first time, of a country-wide minimum wage of EUR 8.50 per hour. Empirical evidence suggests that the effect of a minimum wage is particularly toxic when it is brought to a level that is close to the median wage. This would mean higher wages for about 6 m workers (17% of all workers). A minimum wage will certainly impair the employment chances of groups which already have distinctively higher unemployment rates. If society or politicians do not want to accept the distributional effects of the market, this should be dealt with via taxation and transfers and not by interfering with wage setting. [more]
July 31, 2013
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]
July 1, 2013
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]
June 4, 2013
Before the global financial and economic crisis erupted central bankers were considered if not the masters of the universe at least the masters of the world of finance. However, serious problems have emerged with regard to both the theoretical underpinnings of monetary policy as well as to its implementation. As the roles of the financial sector and asset bubbles had been neglected, the problems contributed to the development of the global financial crisis. <p>
Even though our forecast for German GDP growth in 2013 has hugged the lower end of the consensus range for quite a while, we have slightly reduced our estimate to 0.1% (from 0.3%). The main reasons for doing so are the below-forecast Q1 GDP reading (0.1% qoq) and the downward revision for 2012, which additionally depressed the starting level for 2013. Despite the downward revision to German GDP we now expect private consumption to pick up by 1%. The driving factors are the high employment level, falling inflation and relatively robust wage settlements. [more]
April 2, 2013
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]
March 15, 2011
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]
January 4, 2011
Our forecast of 2% GDP growth in Germany in 2011 is indeed quite optimistic. Moreover, there are two articles in this issue of Current Issues which demonstrate that the financial and economic crisis has not dampened growth potential in Germany. On the one hand, no structural imbalances developed prior to the crisis. On the other hand, in particular the labour market reforms and successful company restructuring over the last decade have ensured that the German economy is in excellent shape on an international comparison. The adjustment processes had, however, resulted in weak growth in household income. This could now improve. Private consumption is expected to grow by almost 1 ½% p.a. on a medium-term horizon. This would, however, be a sustainable performance that is not based on debt and real estate bubbles – in sharp contrast with the considerably higher consumption growth in several countries before the crisis. [more]
June 29, 2010
In real life people do not always decide rationally on the basis of established preferences and complete information. Much of their behaviour is caused through their trying to cope with the complexity of the world around them by approximating. As a rule these approximation methods deliver serviceable results, but they often also lead to distorted perceptions and systematic errors. To avoid making flawed decisions, investors and investment consultants should be aware of these effects when assessing financial products, when estimating factors of relevance to investment performance and their own appetite for risk, and when considering their personal investment behaviour. [more]
January 29, 2009
For the first time in five years Germany is back in recession. Economic output has been on the decline since the second quarter of 2008. The financial markets crisis and the global economic downturn will weigh heavily on growth in 2009. Gross domestic product will continue to contract in real terms at least until the middle of this year. The loss of major sales markets and the surge in the euro – even though it has retraced slightly – will likely cause exports to decline markedly in real terms for the first time since 1993. Shrinking foreign demand together with declining profits in many sectors will lead to investment in plant and equipment contracting by 10%. Despite fiscal stimulus packages private consumption is scarcely likely to increase by more than a tad again in 2009 in the face of significantly falling employment and a rising savings ratio. [more]
February 14, 2008
After four years of above-average growth the global economy is clearly slowing down. The US housing recession and high oil prices are dampening global economic growth, even though the substantial USD depreciation of the last two years, decisive and timely Fed action and the USD 150 bn fiscal package will prevent a US recession. Due to robust domestic demand and solid current account surpluses in many cases the emerging markets – contrary to previous shocks – are providing an element of stabilisation. Europe will be affected by the US slowdown with a lag while the strong currency continues to be a drag. [more]