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Germany Monitor

In the "Germany Monitor" series we address political and structural issues which have great significance for Germany. These include commentaries on elections and political decisions, as well as technology and industry issues, and macro-economic topics which go beyond the business cycle matters addressed in "Focus Germany".

101 Documents
August 30, 2019
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The number of bank branches in Germany has declined sharply, to 28,000 in 2018 from around 40,000 in 2007. With 33 bank branches per 100,000 inhabitants, branch density in Germany is still relatively high. Almost 70% of Germans visit a branch at least once per month. Clients who have a loan or a private pension plan or are a FinTech user are more likely to visit a bank branch, in contrast to Millennials and less wealthy Germans. In Q2, loans to German households were up by a record EUR 16.9 bn qoq and 4.4% yoy. Mortgages surged by EUR 13.2 bn and consumer loans grew dynamically by EUR 2.9 bn, too. Deposits again rose strongly by EUR 34.4 bn. [more]
1
June 18, 2019
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Mortgage loans in Germany have risen to EUR 1,240 bn in recent years (+29% since 2011) thanks to the strong economy and falling interest rates. To account for increased risks for the banks, supervisory authorities decided at the end of May to activate the countercyclical capital buffer for the first time. E.g., almost half of all new loans now have a rate fixation period of more than 10 years. Banks’ business with private households got off to a strong start in 2019. Net lending in the first quarter amounted to EUR 8.8 bn and deposits increased by EUR 21.8 bn, both record figures for the beginning of the year. Both mortgages and consumer loans grew strongly. [more]
2
March 14, 2019
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The house price cycle in Germany should remain in place in 2019. But we expect much more divergence across regions and a heavily increasing complexity of causal impact channels. Led by immigration and the continuous labour market uptrend, house prices and rents will likely continue to rise. The risk of overvaluations and a full-blown price bubble in the German housing market is rising. However, the price uptrend is likely to continue for years to come, in Germany as a whole and in most major cities. In this report we look at the housing markets in Munich, Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Düsseldorf, Stuttgart and Leipzig and we comment on the German office market. [more]
3
March 5, 2019
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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]
4
February 12, 2019
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Analyst:
Robo-advice is a new breed in asset management. Robos’ assets under management have been growing quickly in Germany. However, the market is increasingly becoming concentrated and competitive. Robo portfolios have shown relatively robust performance recently. Yet the high costs of robo-advice in Germany are a drag on returns and may alienate potential customers. Current clients, meanwhile, are mostly middle-age, higher-income men rather than millennials. [more]
5
January 30, 2019
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Analyst:
During the current cyclical upswing, which started in 2010, German manufacturing companies have increased their real gross capital expenditure by just above 3% p.a. In 2017, the industry accounted for 51% of total other capital spending (intellectual property) in Germany. This shows that manufacturing is the most important driver of research and development and thus of technical progress. The automotive and the pharmaceutical industries stand out from other sectors. The capital stock in energy-intensive industries has been shrinking for years now – a trend that gives cause for concern. While the German manufacturing industry is faced with long-term challenges, we believe that it is nevertheless sufficiently adaptable to remain competitive on a global scale. [more]
6
December 20, 2018
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Germans are known as heavy cash users. In 2017, they paid cash for most of their purchase transactions. If they do not use cash, they prefer to pay by direct debit or card. Credit transfers and e-money payments are used less often. Germans initiated almost one fifth of cashless payments via the internet. Mobile payments were rarely used but this will likely change given a number of new mobile payment services came on the market in 2018. In Q3, German households took out an impressive EUR 16 bn in net new loans, the highest quarterly figure since the introduction of the euro. Of this, EUR 13 bn came from mortgages, while consumer lending lost some pace. Deposit inflows were buoyant for a Q3 and German households increased their savings rate to 10.7%. [more]
7
November 8, 2018
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Analyst:
With digitalisation becoming an ever more common feature along the value chain, the German industry looks set to enjoy higher potential growth in the coming years. The additional gross value added in German manufacturing might total EUR 70–140 bn for the years between 2018 and 2025. As a rule, the industrial sector is in a better position than numerous (personal) services sectors to benefit from the favourable impact of digitalisation. Traditional capital goods producers, such as the auto industry or mechanical and electrical engineering, are likely to see their gross value creation benefit more strongly from digitalisation than the metals or chemicals sector. [more]
8
October 19, 2018
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German households hold a higher share of their savings in bank deposits than their French or British peers. But their portfolios are more diversified than perception suggests if all low-risk/low-return investments are taken into account. They invest meaningfully in stock markets, both directly and indirectly. The recent upward trend though may be driven by the low interest rate environment. In Q2, household lending in Germany continued to grow dynamically at 3.8% yoy, driven solely by mortgage loans. However, mortgage growth has not increased much recently despite the benign economic situation and booming real estate markets. Consumer loans declined for the first time in five years. Meanwhile, deposits saw exceptionally large inflows, with maturities shortening further. [more]
9
September 14, 2018
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Since the last corporate tax overhaul in 2008, the need for reform has been continuously building in Germany. Given the ongoing criticism of Germany's current account surpluses, a reduction in corporate taxes would be a strong signal to provide new impulses to the sluggish domestic investment activity, thereby addressing a key issue of the current account discussion. The international trend towards lower tax rates also needs to be addressed, if Germany is to retain its competitiveness as a site for investment, innovation and jobs. [more]
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