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Trade tensions challenge corporates and government

April 10, 2018
Region:
In 2017, Germany’s goods exports rose 6.2% in nominal terms, and the trade surplus was the second highest ever. In particular, exports to China and the Netherlands increased considerably. US comments on free trade have caused irritation recently and dampened the outlook for German exports, even though the EU (and, consequently, Germany) have so far been exempted from higher US import tariffs. German capital goods producers and pharmaceuticals companies would be hit hardest by a trade dispute, as the export ratios of these sectors are particularly high. Moreover, the US are an important market for them. (Also included in this issue: rental inflation, fiscal outlook 2018/19, Merkel's fourth legislative period) [more]

More documents from Barbara Boettcher

70 Documents
May 8, 2020
Region:
1
Weaker-than-expected March hard data and shocking April survey data point to a lower trough in economic activity than assumed so far. We now see Q2 GDP falling by 14% qoq, with the risks still skewed to the downside. In the 2009 recession, private consumption acted as a massive shock absorber. Given the lockdown, social distancing and a likely severe hit to income expectations, we expect private consumption to fall by 10% in 2020. The asynchronous global development of the COVID-19 pandemic and lasting impediments to global trade, will make the recovery, which began in May and will become more evident in H2, less dynamic than hoped for earlier. As a result, we expect German GDP to decline by 9% this year and to expand by about 4% in 2021. [more]
April 24, 2020
Region:
2
The press statement of European Council President Michel after yesterday’s video conference of EU leaders remained vague on the EU’s joint fiscal response to the COVID-19 crisis. EU leaders endorsed their earlier agreement on the EUR 540 bn package of safety nets and also agreed “to work towards establishing a recovery fund”, asking the Commission to rapidly prepare a proposal of what this requires. Interlinking the EU's recovery plan with the budget might add another layer of complexity but could also serve as a spur for rapid agreements on both matters. [more]
April 16, 2020
Region:
3
Merkel’s cabinet in consultation with the PMs of the 16 federal states agreed to partially lift containment measures but curbing health risks clearly dominated economic risks of a longer shutdown. The decisions taken will be reviewed on a bi-weekly basis with the next meeting of political leaders on April 30. A European coordination of (national) exit strategies is important for Germany given its strong economic interlinkages with other member states. [more]
April 3, 2020
Region:
4
In their fight against the spread of COVID-19 over the last weeks, EU governments introduced temporary restrictions to border traffic of various degrees ranging from border controls to outright closure. In several cases this had a severe impact on freight traffic as border controls led to tens of kilometres of traffic jam, such as between Poland and Germany. [more]
March 18, 2020
Region:
5
Corona recession – depth probably close to 2009 slump. Within days lock-down measures and (temporary) factory closures have reached a level that suggests a far bigger H1 contraction than previously thought. In our new baseline scenario we expect GDP to decline between 4% and 5% in 2020, notwithstanding a recovery in H2, as – in contrast to 2009 – the service sector will be hard hit, too. (Also in this issue: the German government's support measures, labour market, industrial recession, auto industry, corporate lending, the view from Berlin) [more]
February 10, 2020
Region:
6
After very weak December data a small drop in Q4 GDP seems likely. Looking forward, the coronavirus provides a substantial risk for the expected global recovery, as hopes were pinned on an improvement of the Chinese economy. We assume that the corona outbreak will shave off 0.2pp of Germany's Q1 GDP, making a technical recession quite probable during the winter half. [more]
December 20, 2019
Region:
7
In 2019 we've been asked lots of questions about the German economy, politics – fiscal policy and the black zero, in particular – and, more fundamentally, about Germany’s future given the risk of a more permanent reversal of globalisation, the increased environmental focus, the challenges for the German car industry and the widespread notion that Germany might miss the boat on the big data economy and other technological trends. This is why we are also discussing these issues in this report. For 2020 we anticipate a gradual recovery in global trade, which should enable a piecemeal recovery in exports and help end the industrial recession. We expect equipment spending to decline in 2020. On the other hand, the domestic growth pillars – private and government consumption as well as construction – should continue to expand at a healthy clip. But annual GDP growth of 1% forecast for 2020 after 0.5% in 2019 is clearly underwhelming, especially since the acceleration versus 2019 is almost exclusively the result of an unusually high number of working days in 2020. [more]
November 4, 2019
Region:
8
German exports and global trade have been moving in lockstep recently and more or less grinded to a halt in yoy terms. We found that the Bundesbank’s leading indicator for global industrial production leads German exports by 4 to 5 months. Recent declines in this indicator do speak against a recovery in German exports before the end of Q1 2020, despite recent signs of stabilization in German foreign order intake. (Also included in this issue: house prices in Germany, labour market, automotive industry and German politics) [more]
September 30, 2019
Region:
9
A new (green) 'fiscal deal' in Germany? The climate protection programme is no game changer for fiscal policies as it will be largely counter-financed by additional revenues. The ecological steering effect of the climate package is also limited since the initial carbon price will be low. Speculations that Germany will finally relent and embark on a decisive fiscal policy loosening have proved to be overplayed. We stick to our call that we will not see a fiscal package unless Germany enters a severe recession. Still, Germany’s budget surpluses are set to narrow considerably in 2019/20. (Also included in this issue: German labour market, industrial production, auto industry, the view from Berlin) [more]
August 19, 2019
Region:
10
We see Germany in a technical recession, as we expect another ¼% GDP drop in Q3. Our forecast for 2019 is now 0.3%. Given no indication for a rebound we lowered our 2020 forecast to 0.7%. We acknowledge these revisions do not properly account for the recent accumulation of risks. Given the increasingly fragile state of the global economy, the realization of one or more risks could easily push the economy into a completely different scenario, where growth revisions of a few tenths of a percentage point will not be sufficient. (Also in this issue: German automotive industry, chemical industry, house prices, corporate lending, the view from Berlin, digital politics.) [more]
July 8, 2019
Region:
11
In case of a snap election in Germany, a CDU/CSU-Greens coalition could be an option. Given both camps' radically different political positions in many areas, such a coalition would require both to make significant compromises. A black-green government would need to direct its focus and its available financial resources to climate protection and the energy transition. Corporates and consumers would have to bear considerable costs. This also spells a dilemma for fiscal policy. A larger share of government spending would necessarily have to be allocated to providing subsidies and mitigating the social impact of a quicker energy transition. Citizens and corporates cannot hope for major tax relief. (Also included in this issue: German goods exports, German industry, labour market, automotive business cycle.) [more]
May 20, 2019
Region:
12
This edition of Focus Germany has quite a lot but rather short articles. We are taking stock of the German economy after Q1’s surprisingly strong growth. We expect the economy to flatline in Q2 and foresee an only subdued recovery in H2 given the recent flare-up of several geopolitical hotspots, rather than their hoped for de-escalation. We cross-check this analysis with deep dives into the auto and the mechanical engineering sector. We look at the impossible trinity of Germany’s fiscal policy (tax cuts, higher social expenditures and the black zero) and peek into the difficulties finance ministers are facing in the digital economy. We discuss to what extent the upcoming EP and Länder elections might spell more trouble for the Groko and introduce our new German financial conditions index. [more]
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