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July 30, 2021
Region:
Net migration towards Germany was much lower in 2020 than pre-COVID. The migration flows from outside of the EU were particularly hampered whereas migration within the EU fell by 'only' 5% compared to 2019. As a consequence, the new demand for housing was much lower than in previous years which helped to reduce the housing shortage. By contrast, the lack of qualified and non-qualified workers in the labour market has become more severe through the pandemic. [more]
July 27, 2021
Region:
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 22, 2021
Region:
Germany has weathered the COVID-19 crisis better than most other EMU partners. With a much smaller output gap and additional headwinds from several structural trends it is more prone to experience higher inflation, in fact, it already has. Given that the ECB will aim its policy towards the EMU average inflation, German inflation could exceed the 2% mark for several years, without triggering an ECB policy response. The ECB's new strategy with the increased 2% symmetric inflation target - implying the acceptance of inflation overshoots - and its announced preparedness to wait until it is fully convinced that its policy has worked before adjusting its policy, make such a scenario even more likely. [more]
July 12, 2021
Region:
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]
July 1, 2021
Region:
Analyst:
The spread of the delta variant will divert tourist flows in the 2021 summer season when individual holiday countries – such as Portugal recently – are classified as areas of variants of concern. However, delta is also likely to become dominant in Germany and other European countries in the near future. The question therefore arises as to how long the classification of countries with a high share of delta as areas of variants of concern can be justified. Ultimately, the classification into risk area and high incidence area might again be more reasonable. If a protection concept is lacking at schools after the summer vacations and delta leads to disruptions in school operations, this could influence the voting decisions of many people. [more]
June 25, 2021
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Analyst:
Climate change is one of the most important global challenges of the century. The issue essentially involves developing energy sources that are as efficient, cost-effective and low-carbon as possible. These should enable climate-friendly growth while also being politically acceptable. The transformation will entail significant limitations in terms of freedom of choice, and politics therefore needs to address social tensions. [more]
June 21, 2021
Region:
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic the US has launched fiscal packages worth USD 5.3 trillion (25.5% of GDP). With new fiscal plans in the pipeline the total stimulus could even exceed USD 9 trillion (or 40% of 2020 GDP). Although the success of this bold US experiment is far from certain, it has started a new trend in fiscal policies. As low interest rates have depressed governments’ interest bills – despite surging debt – many observers advocate to make greater use of deficit spending for funding a public investment campaign over the next decade. Given weak growth prospects, restoring debt sustainability seems a Herculean task for high debt countries. But even some “fiscally prudent” countries like Germany face severe fiscal challenges due to rapid population ageing. [more]
June 21, 2021
Region:
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]
19.5.0