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Marc Schattenberg

More documents written by Marc Schattenberg

38 Documents
June 10, 2021
Q2 GDP should be o.k., despite April’s little stumble. Strong external demand and depleted finished goods inventories suggest a strong bounce back once current supply constraints ease. Consumers’ economic outlook and income expectations are improving. Together with an expected normalization of the savings rate that should provide a strong underpinning for consumption growth. We stick to our Q2 GDP forecast of close to 2% qoq and 4% for the whole year. The rate of inflation has been rising sharply since the start of 2021. With price dynamics continuing to outstrip expectations and given the prospect of stronger economic recovery in the summer, we now expect the annual average CPI inflation rate to rise to 2.8% in 2021, monthly numbers could even touch 4%. [more]
May 7, 2021
The catalysts for a strong expansion of the German economy during the summer half are falling into place: Global demand is picking up strongly and the vaccination momentum is finally accelerating. Given the slightly smaller than expected drop of Q1 GDP (-1.7%) and upward revisions to H2 2020, we have lifted our GDP forecast for 2021 from 3.7% to 4.0%. Meanwhile election polls are hanging firmly in the balance. The nominations of Annalena Baerbock and Armin Laschet as chancellor candidates have clearly helped the Greens to gain ground. The current shift in voters’ sentiment allows for a whole bunch of coalition options. [more]
April 28, 2021
We compare the current debate with the discussion about the introduction of the computer in the 1980s. Then as now, positive and negative effects on a macroeconomic level could almost cancel each other out at first. Accordingly, we anticipate that the question of productivity is only likely to be answered in some years’ time. [more]
March 1, 2021
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 17, 2021
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]
January 25, 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has already changed and will continue to change working conditions in the long run. Companies have opened up for work from home solutions and hybrid work models seem to be the future. The recent increase in flexibility will enable companies to realise efficiency gains. On its own, however, remote working does not necessarily increase productivity per se. As employees work remotely, serendipity suffers. In Germany, demand for traditional office space appears likely to weaken in the medium term but the decline is likely to be smaller than the initial euphoria for remote working suggested. Demographic developments will considerably reduce the German workforce. Remote working may help to ensure workforce participation. We expect that working at the office and remote working will be combined in some way in the future - work from home has come to stay. [more]
December 10, 2020
The COVID cycle and vaccination progress will drive the economy in 2021. We expect that infection rates will not come down decisively before Q2. By summer vaccination numbers should reach critical mass. A strong recovery starting in Q2 should yield an annual GDP increase of 4.5% after a 5.5% drop in 2020.
All attention on the super election year 2021: Germany is facing federal elections and multiple state elections. Our baseline scenario is a conservative-green government, but coalition talks will significantly test the willingness to compromise on both sides.
(Also in this issue: global trade and exports, private consumption, labour market, equipment and other investment, the German housing market, public finances, inflation, German industry's corona losses) [more]
November 2, 2020
Q3 GDP surprise: A rear mirror view – but obstacles right in front. With the partial lockdown during November, the economy will almost certainly see another negative quarter, even in an optimistic scenario where restrictions succeed in squashing new infections and will be completely abolished by the end of November. Prepare the German healthcare sector for regional bottlenecks – protect risk groups better: The number of patients in intensive care and hospital capacity is just as important as the number of new infections. We estimate that 400,000 acutely infected patients are the limit for intensive care units. (Also in this issue: inflation outlook, German labour market, corporate insolvencies, German auto industry, global construction industry, German corona policy, open borders in the EU) [more]
September 24, 2020
We have lifted our GDP forecast for 2020 to -5.5% and see the economy expanding by 4.5% in 2021. An important factor is that the rebound during Q2 – when GDP contracted by 9.7% – turned out more dynamic than expected. The momentum carried over into July. Even with some likely short-term moderation in August, we now expect Q3 GDP to increase by 6.0% qoq. Together with a 2.5% expansion in Q4, this should result in an annual GDP drop of “only” 5.5%, compared to the 9% expected in early May at the height of the pandemic in Europe. The higher carry-over lifts our 2021 GDP growth forecast to 4.5%, despite somewhat weaker momentum in H1 than expected earlier. (Also in this issue: labour market, bilateral exports, fiscal outlook 2020-22, German industry, the race for CDU leadership, and federal election prospects.) [more]
September 9, 2020
The corona crisis has forced many employees to work from home. A consensus seems to be emerging that this is becoming the new normal. Many companies have already offered their employees the option to work from home for several days per week, even post-COVID. An enforceable right for employees to work from home would imply that employers must compensate employees for the additional living space required for home offices. In this paper we analyse the long-term implications of such legislation. We find serious side effects, in particular for the real estate market and the labour market. [more]
August 10, 2020
Monthly data point to a strong pickup in economic momentum during the course of Q2, in part due to catch-up effects. Still, after the unprecedented 10.1% GDP contraction in Q2 we expect a 5% increase in Q3 followed by a 2% rise in Q4 (consensus: 5.2% and 2.4%). We now expect German GDP to contract by 6.4% (compared with -9% predicted in early May) followed by a 4% increase in 2021. Still, the pre-COVID output level will not be reached before mid-2022. The current exceptional volatility in monthly data and the further development of the global pandemic imply that the error margins remain exceptionally high. (Also in this issue: Merkel’s strength might become a burden for her potential successors.) [more]
June 26, 2020
How deep is your trough? Daily activity trackers suggest that the economy turned at the end of April as lockdown measures were gradually lifted. But we still expect a double-digit decline in Q2 GDP. The EUR 130 bn fiscal package was somewhat above our earlier expectations but does not change our GDP forecast, especially as still-prevailing pandemic uncertainties might curtail the economic impact of the package. But upside risks to our -9% GDP forecast for 2020 have (somewhat) increased. (Also in this issue: corona pandemic update, German public finances, global trade, German tourism during the corona crisis, German politics goes European) [more]