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Rising income inequality: do not draw the obvious conclusions

December 6, 2016
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Inequality is dominating the political debate in various countries still characterised by sluggish economic recovery and high unemployment even several years after the financial crisis. In this note we look at trends, drivers and solutions. Four points stand out from the trends. First, global income inequality has increased over the last three decades. Second, the integration of the EM into the global economy has allowed aggregate income levels to converge towards AE levels, lifting millions out of poverty. Third, the AE have been better able to control income inequality via redistribution. Fourth, aggregates can be deceptive. Rising income inequality is associated with globalisation, technological change and migration. At the same time they have had an undeniably positive impact on aggregate income. The policy dilemma is in resolving the tension between the increase in income and its unfair distribution. [more]

More documents about "Macroeconomics"

305 (121-132)
July 6, 2016
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121
Breathtaking. No other word really does justice to the profound changes unleashed by digitalisation and the accelerating pace at which new technologies are appearing. Of course, many of these technologies are still in their infancy and in some cases still have a rather visionary character, but they nevertheless hold unforeseen and lucrative potential. The race for digital technologies and successful monetisation strategies has been on for some time, especially among the large, well-known internet platforms. However, start-ups are increasingly throwing their hat into the ring and causing quite a stir among the business models of established companies. As a result, many innovation-stimulating digital technologies are gradually finding their way into traditional companies where they are evolving into a comparative competitive advantage (not only) for Germany as a business location. [more]
July 4, 2016
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122
The political and economic implications as well as the order of events of the Brexit are currently very hard to predict. We assume that Europe – as usual in recent years – will “muddle-through”. The ECB will not panic, but wait to assess the consequences of the UK’s choice to exit the EU. Due to Brexit we lower our 2017 German GDP forecast to 1.3% from 1.6%. About half of that is due to lower export growth. The other half of the revision results from lower investment in machinery & equipment by German corporates. All told, domestic demand should only feel a marginal impact given that the fundamental drivers – healthy labour market and construction sector – remain intact. Further topics in this issue: German consumers, labour market and Germany in the aftermath of the EU referendum in the UK. [more]
July 1, 2016
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123
Following the UK referendum, Brexit will also leave traces on German industry. After all, 7.5% of all German exports went to the UK in 2015, making it Germany’s third most important export market after the United States and France. The automotive and pharmaceutical industries are likely to be hit the hardest by Brexit. This is because the UK accounts for 12.8% and 10.5%, respectively, of these two industries’ total exports. In addition, they both generally have an above-average export ratio. The UK referendum is likely to have an impact on individual companies’ investment decisions and German companies’ UK pricing structures in the short term. [more]
June 8, 2016
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124
Over the past century central banks have become the guardians of our economic and financial security. The Bundesbank and Federal Reserve are respected for achieving monetary stability, often in the face of political opposition. But central bankers can also lose the plot, usually by following the economic dogma of the day. When they do, their mistakes can be catastrophic.
Today the behaviour of the European Central Bank suggests that it too has gone awry. After seven years of ever-looser monetary policy there is increasing evidence that following the current dogma, broad-based quantitative easing and negative interest rates, risks the long-term stability of the eurozone. [more]
June 7, 2016
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125
Fiscal councils can improve the sustainability of public finances. They can increase transparency and accountability of fiscal policymaking by providing unbiased information to the public and stakeholders in the budget process. The design of their mandates, independence, and their public role are key conditions determining effectiveness. The new European Advisory Fiscal Board (EAFB) can be a valuable addition but is unlikely to be a game changer. Far-reaching reforms on the Union’s fiscal framework remain contingent on political will. Independence is crucial for fiscal councils to have an impact. This holds for both the EAFB and national fiscal councils. In addition, cooperation between the new EAFB and national bodies is a necessary requirement for a “European System of Fiscal Boards” to work effectively. [more]
June 3, 2016
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126
We revise down our Q2 GDP growth forecast from 0.3% to 0.1% as we expect material payback for Q1 strength. While we remain optimistic with regards to the labour market, we think that the impetus from low oil prices to real incomes is fading. In addition, the mild winter has allowed construction work to be brought forward, albeit the payback might be limited by the strength of underlying construction demand. Given weak export sentiment, falling investment goods orders and lower capacity utilisation, we think investment in machinery & equipment is going to weigh on Q2 growth. We maintain our 2016 GDP forecast (1.7%), though. Despite spending on refugees, the German national budget generated a surplus of 0.7% of GDP in 2015, the largest since 2000. However, the healthy short and medium-term fiscal outlook only marginally reduces the need for the reform of public finances. [more]
May 27, 2016
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127
Following a strong increase in manufacturing output in Q1 2016, we have raised our forecast for the entire year 2016 to 1% (previously, a marginal increase). Hardly anything has changed in our forecast of generally moderate performance in the manufacturing sector for 2016 as a whole. However, the strong start to the year requires upward adjustments to our forecasts, also at sector level. These are particularly noticeable in the automotive and plastics industries as well as among producers of building materials. [more]
May 12, 2016
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128
CSU leader Seehofer and SPD leader Gabriel have advocated a stabilization of the level of the public pension scheme’s benefits. This would mean to skip one of the past decade’s major social policy reforms that aimed at enhancing the public budgets' fiscal sustainability. Mr. Seehofer has even questioned the complete architecture of Germany’s pension system by also stating that the Riester-Pension had failed. Obviously both party leaders are in search for popular topics for the imminent federal election campaign, given that in 2017 more than one third of the eligible voters will be 60 years old or older. But it is doubtful whether the promotion of pensioners‘ interests will help both leaders to improve their parties’ image. Further topics in this issue: High returns on direct investments in Germany, Global trade growth remains subdued. [more]
April 13, 2016
129
A number of factors, including the decline in commodity prices, sizeable corporate foreign-currency debt, a strengthening dollar and the prospect of higher US interest rates, are weighing on the economic and financial outlook in the emerging markets (EM). The relative lack of reform combined with a weakening of some of the structural factors that underpin growth has raised concern about the medium-term outlook in many, but not all EM. [more]
April 7, 2016
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Analyst:
130
Last year, the proportion of diesel cars among new car registrations in the EU-15 dropped by 1.5 percentage points to just over 52%. This was the fourth decline in a row. The fall in the diesel share was especially pronounced in France, where the government wants to reduce the tax advantage for diesel over petrol. By contrast, in Germany the diesel share increased slightly last year, due among other things to the large number of commercial car registrations. We expect a further decline in the diesel share in the European car market over the next few years. The higher costs for diesel technology play a role here. However, for high-mileage drivers in particular, the lower consumption and long range of diesel cars as well as lower fuel prices remain convincing sales arguments. Therefore, provided governments do not introduce any serious surcharges for diesel cars, the diesel share of the European car market is unlikely to crash. [more]
April 4, 2016
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131
According to our and consensus expectations Germany will record 4 years (2014-2017) of above potential GDP growth in an extremely narrow range of 1.5% to 1.7%, despite substantial shocks and massive swings in growth drivers. If growth breaks out, a downside move seems more likely than higher growth. The economic slowdown in the oil-producing countries due to the falling oil price also carries implications for the German economy in terms of its foreign trade. Although the overall effect is positive for the German economy, German exports to oil-producing countries remain under pressure. Capital spending on residential construction has been growing sluggishly in recent years. The main reasons are: a shortage of building land, increased regulatory hurdles in virtually all construction sectors, high construction costs and a lack of skilled workers in the construction industry. [more]
March 23, 2016
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132
No? Then it may be worth taking a look at this digital technology and its potential areas of application. Alongside unsupervised learning algorithms and early cognitive systems, blockchain is an example of a digital technology that not only calls tried-and-tested business models into question, but is already turning them on their head. It may have its origins in the financial sector, but a universal spectrum of applications is beginning to open up both within and outside the fintech world. Those who have tried experimenting with digital technologies have quickly found that in many cases they make existing business models, processes and infrastructures noticeably more efficient and thus increase productivity. This has certainly been the case with blockchain, which is why it is a good idea for many decision makers (not only) in the financial sector to keep a close eye on developments and, above all, the various experiments with blockchain that are currently ongoing. Ideally they would experiment with various projects and pilot studies themselves in order to come up with their own ideas and try putting these into practice. [more]
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