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Stefan Schneider

More documents written by Stefan Schneider

78 (61-72)
May 16, 2014
61
So far the West has chosen a reluctant approach in its attempt to contain Russia’s encroachment in Ukraine, refraining from economically or financially meaningful sanctions. The Ukraine crisis and further sanctions will not be inconsequential for the profile of the European recovery, but when looking at the distribution of costs, it seems that the West can afford to be tough towards Moscow. Obviously, the economic cost would be higher if Russian supply of energy to the West was jeopardized, but this would come at a very high price for Russia itself. [more]
February 28, 2014
Region:
62
The details of the 0.4% qoq GDP increase released this week have not altered our GDP forecast of 1.5% for 2014. If anything, they have added to our suspicion that current surveys (corporate and consumer) might paint a too rosy picture. However, we have turned somewhat more optimistic with regard to 2015, increasing our GDP forecast from 1.4% to 2.0%. [more]
February 24, 2014
Region:
63
With the New Year came a new Hollande pledging to build a New France. Still, most of the announcements made in January by the French President merely confirmed a prudent policy inflexion which started last year. Hollande is counting on the solemnity of the speech, putting economic reforms more firmly on the French political agenda. But the reforms are likely to be slow, and the transition will be costly in terms of growth. This will weaken France's reserves of political energy for European reform for many years. Actually, the structural hurdles to reform are more firmly entrenched in France than in Germany 10 years ago. Thus the adjustment is likely to be slower to yield any meaningful results on potential growth than in the German experience and a meaningful structural re-convergence of the two countries will be slow. [more]
January 27, 2014
Region:
64
We see economic growth in the order of 1.5% this year. Continuously strong private consumption and a rise in investment in machinery and equipment for the first time in two years are expected to lay the foundation for this solid performance. Moreover, we expect net exports to rise slightly as well in light of a global economic recovery. The labour market will remain a fundamental pillar of domestic demand also in 2014. With oil prices still relatively stable and tame domestic price developments, we expect the rate of inflation to come in at roughly the pre-year level of 1.5% on average in 2014. After a nearly balanced public-sector budget in 2013 a slight surplus seems to be in store for 2014, and public debt will likely fall in the direction of 76% of GDP, down from 81% at the end of 2012. [more]
December 12, 2013
Region:
65
International criticism of Germany’s current account surpluses has reached new heights. The persistent surpluses are often seen as worsening, if not causing, the European crisis by impairing the peripherals’ capacity to export. Still, even taken individually, most arguments put forward do not hold water. As there is little evidence that Germany is manipulating relevant parameters, one should accept that the surpluses are the result of individual decisions of largely private agents in Germany and abroad. Politicians and commentators may be unhappy with the result, but they should not blame Germany. Rather, they ought to insist that the peripheral countries continue to improve their own competitiveness. Higher minimum wages and rising social security contributions will be a burden for the domestic economy in the medium term and hence weigh on import growth. [more]
November 29, 2013
Region:
66
The coalition intends to hugely increase pension benefits, introduce a minimum wage and increase public spending. There is as little provision for tax hikes (SPD campaign issues) as for tax relief (CDU and CSU pledges). Trend growth, in particular labour supply, will be weakened. Inefficiencies in energy policy will be inadequately addressed. The sustainability of public finances will be substantially reduced. [more]
November 4, 2013
Region:
67
The current negotiations between CDU/CSU and SPD towards forming a government point to the implementation, for the first time, of a country-wide minimum wage of EUR 8.50 per hour. Empirical evidence suggests that the effect of a minimum wage is particularly toxic when it is brought to a level that is close to the median wage. This would mean higher wages for about 6 m workers (17% of all workers). A minimum wage will certainly impair the employment chances of groups which already have distinctively higher unemployment rates. If society or politicians do not want to accept the distributional effects of the market, this should be dealt with via taxation and transfers and not by interfering with wage setting. [more]
September 3, 2013
Region:
68
We have lifted our forecast for 2013 GDP growth in Germany from 0.1% to 0.5%. This is not based on a more bullish assessment of H2's growth dynamics, though. Our call results instead from the growth surge due to one-off effects in Q2 (0.7% yoy) and from revisions to the 2012 performance as these produced a smaller statistical underhang and thus lead to a higher annual average for 2013. [more]
July 31, 2013
Region:
69
In this issue we look at two structural aspects of the German economy which provide speed limiters for GDP growth. The first is the interplay of foreign and domestic demand with implications for the current cyclical forecast. The second is the demographic implications for German labour supply which will be the biggest bottleneck for the economy’s long term growth potential. [more]
July 1, 2013
Region:
70
The findings of the latest Pew Research Center survey paint an impressive picture of the economic divergences within the euro area. The share of respondents in Germany assessing the current situation as “good”, for instance, has risen from 63% in 2007 to 75% currently, while this share has slumped heavily in all other European countries included in the survey. [more]
June 4, 2013
Region:
71
Before the global financial and economic crisis erupted central bankers were considered if not the masters of the universe at least the masters of the world of finance. However, serious problems have emerged with regard to both the theoretical underpinnings of monetary policy as well as to its implementation. As the roles of the financial sector and asset bubbles had been neglected, the problems contributed to the development of the global financial crisis. <p> [more]
April 2, 2013
Region:
72
For the third year in a row now, monthly surveys such as the ifo business climate and the Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) indicate that the economy seems to be running out of steam in spring following a significant upswing around the turn of the year. In our latest World Outlook we now expect that EMU GDP will not pick up until Q3, so we have reduced our forecast for the 2013 average to -0.6% (2014: +1.0%). However, we have not revised down our relatively cautious growth forecast for Germany (2013: +0.3%; 2014: +1.5%). [more]
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