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624 (61-70)
March 5, 2019
Region:
Saving money is near and dear to Germans. Remarkably, Germans increase their saving rate in the second half of retirement. Those aged 75 and older save for a potential emergency situation and in order to bequeath and thereby improve their heirs’ living conditions. High intergenerational transfers might affect wealth distribution in a society in the long run. In 2018, banks in Germany benefited from record volumes of new retail loans (EUR 48.9 bn) and net flows into household deposits (EUR 108.7 bn). Mortgages accounted for the lion’s share of new loans. Consumer lending was above average in 2018, but lost momentum in the last quarter. [more]
March 4, 2019
Region:
The recession in German industry can be traced to the massive slowdown of global trade in 2018. Will the German service sector withstand the recession in industry, as some recent survey data seems to suggest? We doubt it. In previous downswings in the manufacturing sector services were pulled lower, too. Indeed, the two sectors' output trends during 2018 did already follow this pattern. (Also in this issue: Economic Minister Altmaier's National Industrial Strategy 2030, the German Federal Budget, lower total and rental inflation thanks to new basket, corporate lending in Germany, the view from Berlin) [more]
February 28, 2019
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In 2018, net income at the major European banks climbed to its highest level since the financial crisis. Lower administrative expenses and a further fall in loan loss provisions to multi-year lows more than made up for a decline in revenues. Whereas net interest income stabilised, fee and commission income as well as trading income declined. Banks took a bit more risk, and risk-weighted assets edged up. Total capital remained flat despite higher profits as banks increased returns to shareholders and implemented the new IFRS 9 accounting standard. Consequently, capital ratios declined for the first time since 2008. The gap between European banks and their US peers remained huge as the latter benefited from higher interest rates and lower corporate taxes. [more]
February 28, 2019
Region:
The outcome of the EU elections and the composition of the new Parliament will significantly influence the nomination and election of the next President of the European Commission (EC). Parliament will vote for the Council's proposed candidate in a secret ballot with a majority of component MEPs required. The election of the Commission President will be particularly challenging this year. Given the projected new balance of power after the elections both within the EP and within the Council as well as between the EP and the EU Council, an institutional stalemate cannot be ruled out. [more]
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