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Eric Heymann

More documents written by Eric Heymann

96 Documents
February 19, 2019
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Despite broad-based weakness in recent months, the stock of orders in German manufacturing remained on the uptrend, partly led by the lack of skilled labour and one-off factors in the auto industry (WLTP, diesel). Whilst the high volume of unfilled orders should stabilise industrial production in the current year, the peak ought to be near, as suggested by recent results of the ifo business survey. On balance, manufacturing production in Germany looks set to be virtually flat in 2019. [more]
February 5, 2019
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Given much weaker than expected January business surveys and in particular the slump in their more forward-looking components we are now expecting the German economy to contract again in Q1 2019. Due to the yet unknown Q4 GDP outcome and its contradictory signals we currently refrain from formally revising our 1% GDP forecast lower again, but are expecting to shave off several tenths of a percentage point come February 22nd, unless the Statistical Offices Q4 GDP breakdown – and the new monthly data available by then – provide us with substantial positive surprises. While a technical recession might be avoided by a hair’s breadth with a positive Q4 number, the development of several key cyclical indicators is telling us that the German economy is drifting towards recession right now. [more]
January 30, 2019
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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]
January 29, 2019
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Dropping for the third consecutive year in 2018, nominal German exports to the UK were down by over 7% compared with 2015, the year preceding the Brexit referendum. The depreciation of the pound sterling and economic uncertainty in the UK were the key drivers behind the downturn. On the sectoral level, the pharmaceutical industry suffered the sharpest declines. In this sector, German exports to the UK look set to have nose-dived by more than 40% between 2015 and 2018, whereas auto exports to the UK plunged by over 20% in the same period. [more]
December 14, 2018
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Ahead of and during the UN Climate Summit at Katowice, the usual warnings were heard, saying that a reduction in global carbon emissions was urgently necessary. However, these political calls are much too vague. Instead, the most inconvenient message remains unsaid: The technologies which are available today and in the foreseeable future will, in all probability, prove insufficient to counteract climate change to the necessary extent and with the necessary speed and, at the same time, allow households to stick to their consumption patterns and continue with the well-established division of labour along international production chains. [more]
December 14, 2018
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The 0.2% qoq drop in Q3 GDP was, of course, largely due to the WLTP effect, but underlying growth has also clearly slowed in 2018. After mustering 1.6% in 2018, we expect German GDP to expand by 1.3% in 2019. Growth should be only marginally higher in 2020, despite a strong positive working day effect, as a further slowing of the global economy and EUR appreciation will provide considerable external headwinds. [more]
November 21, 2018
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Steady growth in air transport is leading to capacity bottlenecks, both in terms of available planes and at individual airports. Capacities will need to be increased, which means that more money must be earmarked for fixed-asset investments as well as labour and operating expenses. Taken together, the growing pains in the aviation sector and the rise in jet fuel prices may prove an overwhelming chal-lenge for some market participants. Air transport growth has also resulted in higher capacity utilisation in related sectors, such as tourism (the “overtourism” phenomenon comes to mind). There are, in fact, discussions about limiting or redirecting visitor flows. [more]
November 4, 2018
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GDP stagnation in Q3 – 2019 forecast lowered to 1.3%. Despite signs that the WLTP effect is subsiding the recovery looks set to be slow. Export expectations and business sentiment in general have become more clouded on the back of the US/China trade conflict, the problems in the EMs and overall heightened economic uncertainty. Whilst we expect the economy to get back on track in the winter half-year, expansion rates well above potential have become unlikely in 2019. We have therefore trimmed our 2019 growth forecast to 1.3% (1.7%). (Also included in this issue: Auto industry, labour migration, the race for Chancellor Merkel’s succession) [more]
October 12, 2018
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During the last few years, the expansion of digital infrastructure in the EU has been carried out more slowly and less comprehensively than politically intended. The EU’s objective of ensuring fast broadband coverage of more than 30 megabits per second for all Europeans by 2020 seems out of reach. There are economic and regulatory reasons for the insufficient progress with digital infrastructure improvements. However, inadequate digital infrastructure puts companies at a disadvantage versus US competitors, but increasingly also versus Chinese players. The European Commission estimates that more than EUR 500 bn will need to be invested by 2025 to achieve the goal of a “gigabit society”. [more]
October 4, 2018
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Weak currencies and economic difficulties in emerging markets dampen German exports. Over the past few months, the euro has appreciated against the currencies of many emerging markets which will likely curtail German exports to these countries in 2018 and 2019. In 2017, the ten largest German export markets among the emerging markets accounted for some 16% of total exports. According to our estimation model, German exports to this country group are set to increase by a nominal 3.5% to 4% in 2018 and 2019. This would be a noticeable loss of momentum compared with 2017 when exports increased by just over 7%. The country group’s share of total exports for the industrial sector is highest for traditional capital goods manufacturers, with mechanical engineering taking the lead. The ten emerging economies examined accounted for just over 22% of all exports in this sector in 2017. [more]
September 4, 2018
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12
German economy in H2 still goldilocks despite external headwinds. We maintain our forecast of around 0.5% quarterly GDP growth in both Q3 and Q4, following average growth of 0.4% in H1. The H1 growth composition, however, marginally lowers the annual average to 1.9% (2.0%) and risks remain more skewed to the downside. In Berlin, the Groko agreed on an expensive social policy package. Albeit medium- and long-term financing of the package is not secured, FM Scholz came up with an additional, even more costly idea for extended pension benefits. A silver lining could be if the Groko managed to launch a law on labour migration. (Also included in this issue: German manufacturing industry, shortage of qualified workers in the construction sector, corporate taxes) [more]
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