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March 1, 2021
This year's National People's Congress (NPC) will start on Friday, March 5, and will last for about 2 weeks. In this podcast we provide a preview of the key policy issues for the NPC where we expect the government will set a floor growth target at 7-7.5% for 2021, leaving sufficient room to pursue its longer-term policy priorities. The 2021 budget will likely roll back about 60% of Covid-19 related stimulus measures. Nevertheless, government spending will likely increase 7% over last year, thanks to a strong fiscal revenue outlook. [more]
March 1, 2021
Region:
The COVID-19-related restrictions on German public life in the winter half of 2020/21 have again noticeably limited the consumption possibilities of private households. Large parts of brick and mortar retail trade as well as service businesses relying on personal interaction had to close, tourism and most of the hospitality industry lie fallow. The unwinding of this pent-up demand will be key to a post-lockdown recovery. But how much momentum can be expected from a meltdown of additional savings induced by the COVID-19 restrictions? To quantify an answer to this question, we present two scenarios. A conservative scenario assumes that about 30% of additional savings will flow back into private consumption in 2021, while almost 70% would remain in household deposits or assets. In an upside scenario with 40% of the additional savings flowing back into spending in 2021 already, our private consumption forecast would be lifted by a good 1pp providing a ½ pp upside for German GDP in 2021. [more]
February 25, 2021
Region:
The Jan print of 1% yoy surprised massively to the upside, in part due to one-offs. But the strong rise in core goods prices begs the question whether the Jan readings could herald stronger underlying inflation dynamics. There are still strong arguments for a continuation of structurally low inflation dynamics. However, we see risk that price dynamics could strengthen more strongly through impaired supply conditions. Overall, we now project the inflation rate to average 2.0% in 2021. Towards the end of 2021 the headline rate could spike to as much as 3% before easing to 1 ½% in Q1 2022. [more]
February 17, 2021
Region:
German GDP: Down (Q1) but not out (in 2021). The longer “hard” lockdown, weather-related losses in construction and impairments in car output due to chip supply problems have prompted us to cut our Q1 GDP forecast to -2% qoq. We continue to expect a strong rebound in the summer half propelled by healthy global demand, supportive fiscal and monetary policy and German households’ pent-up demand. Inflation: Now expecting 2% for 2021! The Jan print of 1% yoy surprised massively to the upside, in part due to one-offs. But the strong rise in core goods prices begs the question whether the Jan readings could herald stronger underlying inflation dynamics. There are still strong arguments for a continuation of structurally low inflation dynamics. However, we see risk that price dynamics could strengthen more strongly through impaired supply conditions. Overall, we now project the inflation rate to average 2.0% in 2021. Towards the end of 2021 the headline rate could spike to as much as 3% before easing to 1 ½% in Q1 2022. [more]
February 5, 2021
Region:
2020 ended on a conciliatory note for European banks. Following a heavy hit in H1, H2 saw a dynamic recovery in the economy and financial markets, which helped slow down the rise in loan loss provisions and buoyed trading income. Corporate loan growth stabilised but remained elevated and retail lending shrug off the crisis, while banks’ liquidity reserves at the ECB surged to unprecedented and unsustainable levels. Government bond holdings initially rose strongly before calming down a bit. Capital and liquidity ratios weathered the crisis well, without even needing support from supervisors which relaxed a number of rules, at the risk of undermining confidence and transparency though. The outlook for 2021 is more benign with bank profitability set to rebound significantly thanks to much lower loss provisions. [more]
February 3, 2021
Topic:
A year ago, we stated that:
− Cryptocurrencies would become more mainstream. Both Facebook and PayPal will be adding cryptocurrency capability to their wallets early 2021.
− Central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) will be widely discussed. The Bahamas launched the first nationwide CBDC last October, and both Sweden and China launched pilots in early 2020.

What do we see this year? Click here and find out [more]
February 2, 2021
Region:
Analyst:
If green hydrogen is to make a significant contribution to climate-friendly energy supply in the future, it will need to be produced (1) in large quantities, (2) cost-efficiently and (3) using low-carbon methods. Any solutions to these problems have remained in the realm of theory so far. Additional challenges arise in connection with the transport and storage of hydrogen. Initially, green hydrogen will be used to satisfy large-scale demand at specific locations, for example in energy-intensive industries. Like many other climate-friendly technologies, hydrogen will need government subsidies in the beginning. In the longer run, hydrogen might be used in the transport sector as well, for example as aircraft or ship fuel. In theory, hydrogen is highly versatile. However, it is quite expensive, too. That is one reason why hydrogen will probably make only a small contribution to the national and global energy transition in the next one or two decades. [more]
February 1, 2021
The quick development of highly effective vaccines and, of course, expectations of huge fiscal stimulus in the US had made investors optimistic about global growth. However, their hopes were recently dampened as vaccination campaigns were slow to start and, in Europe, experienced supply problems. Furthermore, concerns about more infectious COVID mutations have led to prolonged and more restrictive lockdowns which have weighed on business and consumer sentiment. That has stopped the equity market uptrend for now. [more]
January 28, 2021
Region:
Analyst:
The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered unusual cyclical volatility in the German auto sector. However, structural challenges are much more relevant for the sector - some stemming from regulatory framework conditions (i.e. EU CO2 targets for new cars), others from market developments. Traditional factors which determine a country’s attractiveness as an industrial location, such as the tax burden on corporates, wages or working time flexibility, have recently deteriorated in Germany, at least in an international comparison. Germany’s share in both global and European car production may decline over the coming years. The German car industry is better prepared for the electric mobility future and other structural challenges than Germany as a production location. [more]
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