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Stefan Schneider

Chief German Economist
Macroeconomics

Topics:
Monetary policy, demography, behavioral economics

Address:
Mainzer Landstraße 11-17
60329 Frankfurt
Germany

Contact:
Deutsche Bank Research

More documents written by Stefan Schneider

114 Documents
May 20, 2022
Region:
1
In this edition of Focus Germany we look at the cyclical, short-term challenges brought about by the Ukraine war with regard to growth, inflation and public finances. We also analyse the more structural longer-term challenges, such as reducing the countries’ energy dependence on Russia and the governing coalition’s efforts to integrate new priorities precipitated by the historic watershed into its already very ambitious agenda. [more]
March 4, 2022
Region:
2
War in Ukraine – slowing but not ending the German recovery. In a moderate economic scenario (which is our new baseline forecast) we expect German GDP to grow by between 2 ½% and 3% (old forecast 4%). Surging energy prices should push the annual inflation rate to around 5 ½% in 2022. Government spending is expected to be ramped up by 1 ¼ and 1 ½ pp, limiting the overall growth loss. In a more severe scenario headline inflation could rise to between 6 ½% and 7%, as oil and gas deliveries are at least temporarily halted. Annual GDP growth should be a meagre 1% to 1 ½%. [more]
December 22, 2021
Region:
3
It is, once again, the season of the year when not only are we preparing for Christmas holidays and starting to think about new year resolutions, but economic forecasters are also offering their outlooks for the upcoming year. However, the last two years should have convinced even the most stubborn hedgehog that there is far less predictability, let alone certainty, around us than we like to believe. In particular, problems resulting from “system complexity” are, in our view, not sufficiently appreciated by forecasters and the recipients of these forecasts, alike. The critical assumptions, nota bene assumptions not predictions, driving – to a large extent – GDP and inflation forecasts for the next one or two years, are the future development of the COVID-19 pandemic and the – hoped for – gradual easing of supply bottlenecks, both almost textbook examples of system complexity. So are, probably, the Philips curve models used to forecast inflation. Let’s face it, believing in inflation forecasts with exact numbers, even behind the decimal point, for several years out, is little different to believing in Santa Claus. [more]
December 15, 2021
Region:
4
4% GDP growth in 2022, despite technical recession in winter half. A synchronous acceleration should result in annual GDP growth of 4%. In 2023, quarterly GDP growth will slow towards trend. In fiscal policy ambitious spending plans and debt brake commitment lead to open funding questions. Based on the previous fiscal regime, the fiscal deficit is set to narrow considerably. Still, the new government’s big spending plans, which are not yet quantifiable, could drive deficits considerably higher. Inflation decelerating from 5%+ rates, but higher core rate more permanent. Carryover effects and cost pressures will keep CPI inflation elevated. In 2023, headline and core rates are unlikely to fall below 2%. German politics 2022: “Team Scholz” will focus on climate protection and sizeable corporate tax allowances for green and digital investments. German EU policy might be less fiscal orthodox and open to a cautious reform of the EU’s fiscal rules. [more]
November 5, 2021
Region:
5
Another "COVID winter". GDP growth failed to accelerate further in Q3, as the supply shortages provided an increasing drag on industrial output. The supply chain issues will prevail throughout the winter half and only taper off very gradually during 2022. While private consumption was the growth engine in summer, the recent strong increase in the number of new COVID-19 infections will slow consumer spending during winter. Absent Q3 details we now expect GDP to stagnate in the winter half, but acknowledge the increasing risks of negative quarters. Given the upward revisions to H1 (published with the Q3 GDP flash) this would still result in an average growth rate of 2.5% yoy for 2021. Further upside surprises at all stages of inflation have, despite an increasing tightness in the labour market, not (yet) started a price-wage spiral. Also in this issue: The next German government is in the making. [more]
September 8, 2021
Region:
6
The consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, ambitious climate policies, persistently negative interest rates, and large-scale security purchases by the ECB are increasingly raising the issue of a fair distribution. Policymakers tend to focus on the symptoms in order to appease their voters – and in doing so, they often neglect the root causes. [more]
September 6, 2021
Region:
7
With less than three weeks to go until the German federal election, we put together a succinct presentation to address the following questions:

#1: Is the SPD boom yet another spike in voter preferences – that is going to mean-revert?
#2: How do policy platforms compare and where are the parties’ red lines?
#3: Which coalition option is most likely to materialize?
#4: Is a leftish red-red-green coalition a possibility at all?
#5: Are there any procedural stumbling blocks? How long might the Merkel government act as a caretaker government?
#6: What could fiscal, climate, distribution, and housing policies look like in a new three-way coalition?
#7: What is the likely impact on Germany’s potential growth?

In addition to summarizing our election outlook, we include snapshots of recently published research on how key policy areas like climate, energy, EU, distribution, and fiscal policy might be shaped by the next government. [more]
July 27, 2021
Region:
8
The recent flood caused by heavy rain was among the most severe natural disasters hitting Germany since reunification. More than 170 people lost their lives and many private homes and public buildings, roads and municipal infrastructure were destroyed. Since the flooding occurred in regions with low industrial density, the expected negative impact on overall economic activity, in particular on industrial production, should be relatively limited. Still, the regional impact on agricultural production (such as wine-growing) might be significant. Some of the most recent polls already fully capture post-flood views. As expected, there is no big shift in voter preferences. The events will likely confirm voters' previous choices. [more]
July 22, 2021
Region:
9
Germany has weathered the COVID-19 crisis better than most other EMU partners. With a much smaller output gap and additional headwinds from several structural trends it is more prone to experience higher inflation, in fact, it already has. Given that the ECB will aim its policy towards the EMU average inflation, German inflation could exceed the 2% mark for several years, without triggering an ECB policy response. The ECB's new strategy with the increased 2% symmetric inflation target - implying the acceptance of inflation overshoots - and its announced preparedness to wait until it is fully convinced that its policy has worked before adjusting its policy, make such a scenario even more likely. [more]
June 10, 2021
Region:
10
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
Region:
11
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]
May 4, 2021
Region:
12
Given the magnitude of the recent spike/fall in polls for the Greens/Conservatives, we were asking ourselves, whether such a spike might be a one-off and if approval rates are going to mean-revert any time soon? Looking at historical episodes of spikes in voter preferences indeed shows that most of the time, approval rates tended to (partly) mean revert after a couple of weeks. Still, the Greens clearly stand out with four out of the five most recent spikes working in their favour (hot and dry summer seasons '18 &'19, Fridays for Future movement, and disappointment with Covid measures). Where does that leave us with respect to the tight race in September? [more]
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