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Focus Germany

Focus Germany deals with macroeconomic and economic policy issues in Germany. Each issue also contains a timetable of financial and economic policy events as well as a detailed data monitor of German economic indicators.

73 (41-50)
October 2, 2015
Region:
Although the external and the financial environment have deteriorated we have lifted our 2016 GDP call to 1.9% (1.7%). Drivers are stronger real consumption growth due to lower oil prices/stronger EUR and the surge in immigration which should ceteris paribus add about ½ pp to consumption (split between private and public). The risks are mainly external (EMs). We lower our forecast for German inflation (national definition) in 2015 and 2016 to 0.3% and 1.3% from 0.5% and 2.0%. The relatively large adjustment for 2016 is due to the weaker inflation development in H2 2015 and due to our expectations of a weaker dynamic in 2016. [more]
41
September 1, 2015
Region:
GDP growth accelerated slightly to +0.4% qoq in Q2 with disappointing details. The domestic economy was a drag due to the decline of investments and an inventory reduction. Consumption slowed. Net exports were the major growth engine. German exports benefitted from the weaker EUR and strong demand especially from the US. We cut our Q3 GDP growth forecast slightly to 0.4% qoq. Despite this downward revision, we modestly increase our 2015 GDP forecast to 1.7% due to the marginal upward revision of H1 numbers, and changes in the growth composition. Fundamentally our outlook remains unchanged. Domestic demand, esp. private consumption, is the primary growth driver and the external environment remains challenging. [more]
42
July 31, 2015
Region:
German model – has a consensus economy reached its limit? German output growth poised to outstrip potential again in current year. Despite new government spending programmes there should be continued budget surpluses for the time being. Given the strengths of its institutional framework Germany has so far largely been able to avoid the possibility of distributional conflicts feeding through in the shape of higher government deficits and/or rising inflation. Demographic developments, not least, will probably put this resilience to the test. However, a new reform thrust is needed in view of decreasing locational advantages. It remains to be seen whether society will carry through with an update of the Agenda 2010 reforms. [more]
43
June 29, 2015
Region:
While the core inflation rate has remained relatively stable since 2011 at an average of slightly above 1% yoy the oil price slump is the main reason for the temporary decline in consumer prices at the start of 2015. However, the oil price rise of some 30% since January and the stabilisation of the EUR exchange rate sent the German inflation rate out of negative territory after just one month and then made it accelerate to 0.7% yoy recently. We therefore expect slightly stronger increases in consumer prices of 0.5% this year and 2.0% in 2016. With our forecast the risks are more pronounced to the downside. The oil price might rise more slowly than expected on account of the global oversupply. In addition, the EUR/USD has now stabilised at above 1.10 after hitting its low in mid-April. Our forecast assumes EUR/USD parity by year-end. [more]
44
June 1, 2015
Region:
The Q1 GDP details provide some comfort relative to the disappointing 0.3% qoq headline number. Final domestic demand was up 0.8% qoq while net-exports as well as inventories both provided a drag. Thus, our 2015 story of GDP growth driven by strong domestic demand remains intact. Despite this, we lower our 2015 GDP forecast from 2.0% to 1.6%. This is primarily due to the weaker-than-expected Q1 GDP growth that provides a lower starting base for 2015. However, we still expect quarterly growth rates to average a healthy 0.4% qoq in 2015. Further topics in this issue: Construction investment: Sharp increase expected, but focus on downside risks, The view from Berlin. German politics: Quarrel among friends and families. [more]
45
April 30, 2015
Region:
The financial situation of German households continued to improve markedly in 2014. The good income situation enabled them to make new investments to the tune of EUR 160 bn. In addition, the valuation gains on existing financial assets came to EUR 53 bn. Overall, total gross household financial assets thus increased from EUR 5 tr to EUR 5.2 tr (180% of GDP). Nothing has fundamentally changed with regard to the minimal risk appetite of German investors; risk-bearing investments still constitute less than 25% of financial assets. However, their share of new investments climbed to 11%. Furthermore, in 2014 EUR 20.5 bn of new debt was taken on. Both developments have probably been heavily influenced by the low-interest rate environment and are likely to continue in 2015 given the monetary policy outlook. [more]
46
March 30, 2015
Region:
The combination of the structural global trade slowdown, increased localization of production, demographic changes in Germany, the impact of recent economic policy decisions and further toughening of international competition are likely to be a considerable challenge for German exporters over the medium term. Thus, the domestic economy will play a bigger role again. Government policies can help ease the transition. German exporters could become even more globally active firms over the medium term. The specific reactions will vary by sector, though. The earnings generated by these firms around the globe are likely to be a blessing for an aging and more domestically driven economy in the decades ahead. [more]
47
March 2, 2015
Region:
The Q4 GDP details corroborate that the German economy ended 2014 on a high note (+0.7% qoq vs +0.1% in Q3) as private consumption received a substantial stimulus from the drop of the oil prices. We increase our 2015 GDP forecast to 2.0% from 1.4% previously. This is especially due to the much larger carry-over effect courtesy of the marked Q4 GDP growth. In addition, we raise our Q1 GDP forecast to 0.5% qoq as the renewed oil price drop will boost consumption again. Sentiment also improved further in January/February with ifo expectations and the composite PMI pointing to 0.5% and 0.4% growth, respectively. [more]
48
February 2, 2015
Region:
Late last year we raised our GDP forecast for Germany from 0.8% to 1.0% on account of the steep downside correction on expectations for oil prices. We now expect German GDP growth to hit 1.4% in 2015. Reasons: Growth slightly exceeded expectations in Q4 2014; the oil price forecast for 2015 has been lowered again; and the euro has fallen more sharply against the US dollar than anticipated. Given this good outlook for the economy Germany's public budgets are likely to show a slight surplus again in 2015. Moreover, the current account surplus is set to jump to 8% of GDP. This suggests there will be further calls for Germany to use its fiscal room for manoeuvre to pursue a public investment programme. Also, international criticism of German economic policy is likely to grow louder. Further topics in this issue: German industrial output forecast upped to 1.5%, 10 "golden" rules for ifo, PMI and Co., The view from Berlin. [more]
49
January 6, 2015
Region:
Following a weak winter half in 2014/15 the economy looks likely to regain its footing as 2015 progresses. However, sluggish performance at the turn of the year means growth will probably average only 1% in 2015 after 1.4% in 2014. It is encouraging, however, that private consumption should remain a major pillar of growth, whereas net exports are likely to have a neutral impact. Nonetheless, signs are increasing that some – in our opinion misguided – economic policy moves (such as the introduction of a nationwide minimum wage as well as an enhanced pensions package) are weighing on the labour market and thus on consumption. Given a weakening of cyclical activity and the costs of economic policy measures, we expect the general government budget to be slightly in deficit in 2015. [more]
50
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