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Talking Point

In Talking Point we present our take on current affairs and developments in the worlds of business, financial markets and politics.

131 (101-110)
May 8, 2015
Region:
The latest population projections by Germany's Federal Statistical Office once again highlight the Herculean task of coping with demographic change. Once immigration begins to fall from its current temporary high, the fair weather in the labour market caused by rising employment figures may already turn cloudy within the next ten years. Consistent political action in the fields of old-age provision and long-term care is required given rising life expectancy and the expected doubling of the number of the very elderly. [more]
101
April 17, 2015
Region:
Analyst:
Roughly 100 days have passed since the introduction of the minimum wage, and the Minister of Labour Andrea Nahles is already calling it a success story. However, we would urge caution given the considerable time lags with the effects of the minimum wage of EUR 8.50 per hour. In the medium term, we continue to expect clearly negative effects on employment and a missing of the targets of a more just income distribution and fiscal relief. In the medium term, we still expect a negative employment effect of 800,000 persons in line with our ex-ante study "Minimum wage of EUR 8.50 per hour: Grand Coalition on the wrong track". [more]
102
March 30, 2015
Region:
Since around 2009, the German healthcare system has been characterised by weak investment. One reason is that public subsidies for the sector have been reduced. This development harbours risks, for only a regular renewal of medical appliances and equipment is likely to ensure the high quality of treatment in Germany in the long term. By contrast, lower investments in the building stock would primarily mean a reduction in the current hospital overcapacities. [more]
103
March 19, 2015
Region:
Core revenues are getting better, loan losses are falling substantially and capital ratios have climbed to sustainable levels – European banks seem to have turned the corner in 2014, finally. Profits have more than doubled, asset growth has also resumed and banks have regained a bit of risk appetite. The outlook for 2015 is thus brighter than in most of the past few years. The still-elevated expenditure levels remain a significant drag on performance, though. [more]
104
March 12, 2015
Region:
Analyst:
In 2014, Germany exported goods worth EUR 1.1 tr (+3.7%), which represented a new record high. Conversely, German exports to Russia fell by 18% because of the latter's economic and political problems, with the declines in certain sectors even exceeding 30%. True, the share of total German exports going to Russia has decreased to only 2.6% (2013: 3.3%; 2012: 3.5%), but certain sectors and companies are nevertheless being hit hard by the decline. We expect exports to Russia to drop significantly in 2015, too. Out of Germany's major manufacturing sectors it is probably engineering that is suffering the most as Russia is still one of its biggest foreign markets. [more]
105
February 20, 2015
Region:
The commercial and data protection foundations for debate about big data may well already be in place. But far removed from the debate about monetisation and data misuse there is another world in which data applications, regardless of their data volumes, can provide a valuable economic benefit to society. Our increasingly digital and data-driven economy enables us to more rapidly detect potential ways to boost efficiency and productivity and subject them to closer scrutiny. In this context, the desire for greater transparency, participation and collaboration provides an important motive for experimenting ultimately in fact with new forms of democratic processes. The initially exponential growth in the volume of data and its intelligent evaluation provide the fertile breeding ground needed for innovation and economic growth in the digital age. [more]
106
February 6, 2015
Region:
Analyst:
Manufacturing output in Germany rose by 1.9% in real terms in 2014. Q4 helped to end the year on an upbeat note, as a decline in output at the end of 2014 – which we had still been forecasting in autumn – did not materialise. The outlook for 2015 has also improved. German industry is getting a boost from the depreciation of the euro, which is materialising faster and more heavily than expected, as well as from the surprisingly steep drop in the oil price. We have therefore recently raised our forecast for manufacturing output in 2015 in real terms ¾% to 1.5%. [more]
107
January 27, 2015
Region:
Analyst:
SMEs' access to finance problem constitutes a considerable impediment to the recovery in many European countries, therefore prompting calls for policy action. Among the options to spur bank lending to SMEs, covered bonds backed by SME loans are currently discussed as a potential remedy. Despite SME-covered bonds offering lucrative features for investors and issuers alike, there are significant constraints that may limit their potential to revitalise bank lending to SMEs for the time being. [more]
108
December 5, 2014
Region:
2014 is witnessing a remarkable reversal in some important European banking trends of the past few years, according to the 9-month results of the continent’s largest banks. This is not solely a positive thing: apart from improvements in core revenues and a return to balance sheet expansion, expense levels are also rising again. Is deleveraging and shrinking over, then? [more]
109
October 9, 2014
Since its outbreak in December 2013 in Guinea, the Ebola epidemic in West Africa has resulted in over 3,000 deaths out of 7,000 cases, according to the World Health Organization. The actual figure could be higher since there is evidence of substantial under-reporting of cases and deaths. This outbreak has been spreading considerably faster than previous ones, mostly because it has reached urban areas in Liberia and Sierra Leone. It could spiral to over 500,000 infections, and potentially many more, by the end of January if control measures do not improve, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In contrast to this worst-case scenario, mobilisation by the international community as seen recently and increased education in affected countries could almost end the epidemic. [more]
110
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