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Rising income inequality: do not draw the obvious conclusions

December 6, 2016
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 (133-144)
March 22, 2016
In 2015, exports of German goods to the oil states declined by 7.4%. This was the third fall in a row. Growing exports to the United Arab Emirates (primarily aircraft) and Saudi Arabia prevented an even worse result. As oil prices will initially remain low, German exports to the oil-producing countries are expected to fall again in 2016. Our export indicator points to a decline of approximately 5%. Among the major German industrial sectors, mechanical engineering is likely to be hardest hit by falling demand from the oil states, as was the case in 2015. Overall, the significance of the oil producers as a market for German industry will continue to decline in 2016. [more]
March 3, 2016
Despite the challenging environment German exporters gained global market share in 2015. The year 2016 has not got off to an auspicious start, however. Our new “Export Indicator” points to a double whammy for German exports in 2016. The less favourable outlook for the demand and especially for the exchange rate impact looks set to slow export growth to around 3% in 2016. When analysing German exports, it is worth looking at sector-specific factors as they can play an even more important role than the macroeconomic environment. Overall, German industry faces a challenging year for exports. Further topics in this issue: House prices: Imminent return to normal, overvaluation likely; GDP growth 2016: More domestically driven & facing more downside risks; Merkel likely to weather even weak state election results. [more]
February 22, 2016
Manufacturing output in Germany increased by 1.1% in real terms in 2015. Just over half of this growth resulted from 2015 having more working days than 2014. Among the main industrial sectors, pharmaceuticals (+4.3%) and automotives (+2.6%) recorded the highest growth rates. By contrast, the mechanical engineering and chemical industries suffered declines in production of 1.1% and 0.4% respectively. Mixed signals are currently shaping the outlook for 2016. For example, the slowdown in growth in major sales markets is being offset by a relatively high capacity utilisation rate in industry at the start of the year, as well as a positive trend in core orders. On the whole, we confirm our forecast that manufacturing output in Germany is not likely to do more than stagnate in 2016. Nevertheless, in light of global economic and geopolitical risks, as well as turmoil in the financial and commodities markets, a certain disturbing feeling remains to the effect that manufacturing output in Germany could also be worse than projected this year. [more]
February 5, 2016
The demand for electric cars in Germany remains low. Their share of total new car registrations was less than 1% in 2015. The clamour is increasing among policymakers in favour of stimulating demand with the aid of cash incentives. The argument is that if such incentives were high enough the market share of electric cars would indeed increase faster than has been the case to date. Nevertheless, there is a host of economic, regulatory and social policy reasons that argue against cash incentives. We continue to favour an integration of road traffic into the EU Emissions Trading System in order to limit the sector's CO<sub>2</sub> emissions [more]
January 28, 2016
After three years of high GDP forecast accuracy, we were off the mark by a substantial margin in 2015. The miss can mainly be traced to our assumptions with regard to oil, the USD, the magnitude of the refugee influx and a bit of bad timing, as the USD and oil saw a massive adjustment right after we had published our 2015 forecast. Last year’s imponderables are once again at the top of our list of forecast uncertainties for 2016. In this issue we also look at the wage round in 2016 and Chancellor Merkel’s asylum policy. [more]
January 21, 2016
Our analysis on labour mobility shows that mobility between EMU countries is relatively low compared to the US. EMU mobility was far higher in the post-crisis period and increased significantly since 2007. In particular, the ongoing, pronounced variation of the labour market situation across EMU countries should remain a driving force of bilateral migration. The higher mobility provides some limited hope for the ECB. However, the increased competition caused by the jump of migration from non-EMU countries will probably put the increased EMU labour mobility at risk, which was dominated by the shift of flows in the direction of Germany as EMU’s stability anchor since the start of the crisis. [more]
January 11, 2016
The digital revolution is having a beneficial economic effect: new technologies are appearing at a faster rate. Of course, many of these technologies are still in their infancy and in some cases are still in the visionary stage, but they nevertheless hold unforeseen and lucrative potential. The race for digital technologies and appropriate monetisation strategies has been on for some time, especially among the large internet platforms. In the future, however, digital technologies will also find their way into traditional companies where they will gradually evolve into a comparative competitive advantage. This poses a number of advantages and disadvantages, which we urgently need to discuss. [more]
January 8, 2016
Asia’s needs for infrastructure are vast. Getting the right financing mix for infrastructure projects would be rewarding for borrowers and lenders and, more importantly, provide a boost to GDP growth for the region in the medium term. Despite some remarkable success stories, providing adequate transport networks, power, water and other facilities remains a monumental task in Asia. This note gives a detailed account on selected country experiences with infrastructure financing in Non-Japan Asia. As different countries are at different stages of development and face diverse macroeconomic backdrops and endowments, suitable financing options for infrastructure development will vary. Governments and multilateral agencies will remain important providers of funding, but the role of private financing looks set to grow. This underscores the need to put more effort into improving transparency and governance as well as enhancing cooperation in harmonising capital market standards and facilitating cross-border flows. [more]
December 22, 2015
The manufacturing sector's stock of foreign direct investment (FDI) added up to some EUR 251.1 bn in Germany in 2013. This is equivalent to more than 27% of total German FDI. The data is collated on the basis of the specific business sector to which a German investor belongs. The statistics incorporate the following direct investments of domestic companies and private individuals: firstly, direct cross-border share capital or company voting rights of 10% or more. Secondly, stakes in foreign companies are taken into account if the directly and indirectly (that is via dependent holding companies) held share capital or voting rights exceed the 50% mark. [more]
December 17, 2015
Even after yesterday’s Fed rate hike – the first in nine years – the central banks will continue to generously provide the global economy with liquidity in 2016. Global growth looks set to remain below the average and uneven in 2016, at 3.3% (2015: 3.1%). With oil prices normalising somewhat – the oil price decline in 2015 probably contributed ¼ - ½ of a pp to global growth – and wage inflation moderate – with the possible exception of the US, where wage growth might finally pick up considerably in view of almost full employment – household consumption will again probably be the most important growth engine. Despite extremely low interest rates, credit-driven exuberance – which, by the way, was one of the reasons for the global economic and financial crisis in the middle of the past decade – seems unlikely in 2016. [more]
December 16, 2015
The German economy was extremely stable over the course of 2015, although the volatile newsflow that ranged from the oil price shock, material euro exchange rate depreciation, “Dieselgate” right through to the refugee crisis could make one think otherwise. Driven by a 15-year high in private consumption growth economic output rose by more than 1 ½% in 2015, as already achieved in 2014. Economic growth is set to accelerate to nearly 2% in 2016, following a pretty stable trend over the course of the year. Private consumption should remain the most important growth driver. Public consumption will remain expansionary given the continued influx of refugees and resulting public spending. If refugees can be successfully integrated into the labour market, the refugee crisis will provide Germany's ageing society with a medium-term opportunity. [more]
December 9, 2015
As digital processes reshape commerce and social life, payment service providers are striving to offer users instruments to transfer funds in a way that matches this immediacy and ubiquity. With the payments market in such a flux, the ECB is pushing banks to provide at least one pan-European instant payment solution in order to prevent a re-fragmentation of the Single Euro Payments Area. However, instant services can be based on different technical set-ups: closed-loop, open-loop and decentralised payment networks. There is an opportunity for new technologies and providers to cater for user needs and win market share. Innovation in instant payments will not alter the economics of payments, though. Positive network externalities and economies of scale in electronic processing will probably lead to a consolidation around a few instant payment systems in the long run. [more]