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453 (11-20)
June 11, 2018
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In April industrial production remained sluggish and new orders heavily declined, Q2 M&E investment growth could be restrained. No positive impulses are expected from net exports as long as international trade tensions continue. For these reasons, we have recently adjusted our annual GDP growth forecast from 2.3% to 2%. Impulses for Q2 growth should mainly come from the construction sector and consumption. Thanks to high wage settlements, private consumption should be again a key growth driver and the expansion of 17 consecutive quarters in a row is likely to continue. (Also included in this issue: lacklustre new construction, lending in Germany, the view from Berlin) [more]
June 7, 2018
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When reporting on bitcoin, blockchain and cryptocurrencies these days, the speaker is faced with the question: Shall he discuss the technology or move directly to the presentation of the social and economic implications? Conveying a complex technology in just a few minutes is risky. In Alice's rabbit burrow, the speaker and his audience quickly lose track of each other. But the audience may also be left clueless by the direct presentation of the potentially revolutionary implications. In the face of this dilemma and the complexity of cryptosystems, we will try to shed light on the issue by means of metaphors. We hope you will join us on our journey into the blockchain universe. [more]
June 6, 2018
About 250 years on from the first industrial revolution, we appear to be on the brink of a new age of automation, one dominated by complex robots and artificial intelligence. In this issue, we examine the impact of the next generation of automation on workers, industry, and society at large. Evidence from history, economics, and our industry analysts suggest that robots are more likely to complement us than replace us. [more]
June 4, 2018
Asian economies have, collectively, grown at a remarkably stable rate over the past five years. Twenty-six consecutive quarters of GDP growth between 6% and 7% despite an occasionally challenging external environment – including the euro crisis, a volatile Japanese economy and large variations in energy prices – was a much better outcome than we, and we dare say most other observers, had expected. [more]
May 31, 2018
Once more, Europe is becoming messy. We did not expect politics to turn so negative this year. The Italians face a difficult task of restoring investor confidence, and Italy is too important to ignore. But European volatility does not translate into US positivity; we believe the underlying dollar outlook remains negative, and the US midterms will add to political noise. Beyond the dollar, volatility breeds opportunity, and we identify numerous trades in currency crosses that should not be sensitive to messy American or European politics. [more]
May 30, 2018
In our 7th annual DB survey of global prices and living standards, we rank 50 cities that are relevant to global financial markets. We consider Quality of Life, Salaries, Rents and Disposable After-Rent Income, and our Weekend Getaway, Cheap Date and Bad Habits indices. We then look at the individual series of the prices of goods and services. Our survey highlights relative prices around the globe and how they have changed over time. [more]
May 29, 2018
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The third and fourth pipeline strings for Russian gas transports through the Baltic Sea to Greifswald/Germany, which are also known under the term of “Nord Stream 2”, are now under construction, doubling the existing transit capacity of Nord Stream 1. The project continues to be highly controversial, given arguments that it might drive a wedge between the EU countries, the United States’ opposition and the risks it poses to the triangle of energy, environmental and security policies. That – also thanks to Germany’s initiative – Russian gas flows through the Ukraine look set to continue following the expiry of the old contracts in 2019 is a step forward and may foster acceptance of Nord Stream 2. In the face of the recent realignment of global gas trading, this would be in the interest of (nearly all) players. [more]
May 23, 2018
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At 0.3% qoq, German GDP growth in the first quarter of 2018 slowed markedly compared with 2017, when GDP rose by an average of 0.7% per quarter. Whilst this was partially attributable to temporary factors, the large number of vacancies is gradually becoming a stumbling block for the German economy. Manufacturing, in particular, has been hard hit of late, with the number of job openings in the first quarter of 2018 up by 38% on the same period a year earlier. [more]
May 23, 2018
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QE has been a controversial policy wherever it has been implemented, including in the euro zone. With the economy having expanded at the fastest rate in a decade in 2017, the ECB has already begun to scale back its asset purchases from EUR80bn per month at the peak to EUR30bn currently. The ECB is due to make its next decision on QE this summer. Our baseline expectation is that the ECB will announce in July the intention to finish QE at the end of this year. That will be a signal to markets and the economy that it is just a matter of time before the ECB’s other controversial monetary policy – negative deposit rates – is also withdrawn. [more]