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Not out of the woods, politics of no help

May 20, 2019
Region:
This edition of Focus Germany has quite a lot but rather short articles. We are taking stock of the German economy after Q1’s surprisingly strong growth. We expect the economy to flatline in Q2 and foresee an only subdued recovery in H2 given the recent flare-up of several geopolitical hotspots, rather than their hoped for de-escalation. We cross-check this analysis with deep dives into the auto and the mechanical engineering sector. We look at the impossible trinity of Germany’s fiscal policy (tax cuts, higher social expenditures and the black zero) and peek into the difficulties finance ministers are facing in the digital economy. We discuss to what extent the upcoming EP and Länder elections might spell more trouble for the Groko and introduce our new German financial conditions index. [more]

More documents from Eric Heymann

127 Documents
July 1, 2020
Region:
Analyst:
1
During the corona summer, Germans will probably travel less and for shorter periods of time than in former years. Destinations in Germany and in the neighbouring countries, which are only a car journey away, look set to benefit. In contrast, European holiday destinations which are usually reached by plane will see the number of tourists decline in 2020. Spain will probably be the main loser. Long-distance travel will not play a major role in 2020. The cruise boom is likely to come to an abrupt end. In 2020, the total amount spent by Germans abroad is likely to decline by 10-20%. Once the coronavirus crisis is over, climate and environmental regulation (in particular for the transport sector) will return as the main structural challenge for tourism. [more]
June 26, 2020
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2
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]
June 10, 2020
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3
Germany has got COVID-19 under control faster than many other countries. It also recorded one of the lowest infection fatality rates among the G10 countries. The complete fiscal policy U-turn in response to COVID-19 induced economic damage should allow the German economy to weather this crisis better than many other countries – although the impact will still be massive. We have identified six structural features of the German society contributing to its superior collective resilience. Due to these features we expect the German recession in 2020 to be less severe than in most other industrial countries. This crisis resilience should also further improve Germany’s relative position among the major industrial economies once COVID-19 has been overcome. And this will increase pressure on Germany to play an even more supportive role within EMU/EU in the medium term. [more]
May 14, 2020
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4
Public attention has shifted away from climate change as the coronavirus pandemic has spread. Nevertheless, mitigating climate change and making sure that the growing global population has access to climate-friendly energy remain among the key challenges of this century. These issues will still be on the agenda when the pandemic is over. It is therefore an encouraging sign that many policymakers and corporates have said they will not only take into account, but pay more attention to climate protection when re-opening the economy. The heated discussion about which instruments are best suited to ensure climate protection will continue for years to come, though. [more]
May 8, 2020
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5
Weaker-than-expected March hard data and shocking April survey data point to a lower trough in economic activity than assumed so far. We now see Q2 GDP falling by 14% qoq, with the risks still skewed to the downside. In the 2009 recession, private consumption acted as a massive shock absorber. Given the lockdown, social distancing and a likely severe hit to income expectations, we expect private consumption to fall by 10% in 2020. The asynchronous global development of the COVID-19 pandemic and lasting impediments to global trade, will make the recovery, which began in May and will become more evident in H2, less dynamic than hoped for earlier. As a result, we expect German GDP to decline by 9% this year and to expand by about 4% in 2021. [more]
May 5, 2020
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Analyst:
6
Due to the coronavirus, production in the manufacturing sector in Germany is expected to fall by roughly 10% to 15% in real terms in 2020. Society and business will learn to live with the coronavirus and weigh up health, social and economic risks in the process. In 2021, industrial production could rise by more than 10% in real terms on average over the course of the year. However, overall we see a risk that Germany may become less attractive as an industrial location over the coming years. Policymakers and industrial companies are likely to view the crisis surrounding the coronavirus as an opportunity to make important political decisions and get structural reforms off the ground, as they should. [more]
April 29, 2020
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Analyst:
7
The government’s coffers are not bottomless. That is why any money spent on cushioning the impact of the corona crisis should be used as efficiently as possible to achieve the maximum positive impact or compensate for the damage caused by the lockdown. Unlike other sectors, such as hotels or restaurants, car producers in Germany were and are not directly affected by the lockdown. Car dealers have re-opened. Moreover, a car-scrapping bonus scheme will cause customers to bring forward purchases, with sales declining in the following year. In addition, high-wage earners in particular will benefit from the financial windfall. Car sales in Germany play only a limited role for German carmakers’ overall profitability. And finally, subsidies for e-cars already provide an incentive to include environmental considerations in car-buying decisions. [more]
April 16, 2020
Region:
8
Merkel’s cabinet in consultation with the PMs of the 16 federal states agreed to partially lift containment measures but curbing health risks clearly dominated economic risks of a longer shutdown. The decisions taken will be reviewed on a bi-weekly basis with the next meeting of political leaders on April 30. A European coordination of (national) exit strategies is important for Germany given its strong economic interlinkages with other member states. [more]
March 18, 2020
Region:
10
Corona recession – depth probably close to 2009 slump. Within days lock-down measures and (temporary) factory closures have reached a level that suggests a far bigger H1 contraction than previously thought. In our new baseline scenario we expect GDP to decline between 4% and 5% in 2020, notwithstanding a recovery in H2, as – in contrast to 2009 – the service sector will be hard hit, too. (Also in this issue: the German government's support measures, labour market, industrial recession, auto industry, corporate lending, the view from Berlin) [more]
February 10, 2020
Region:
12
After very weak December data a small drop in Q4 GDP seems likely. Looking forward, the coronavirus provides a substantial risk for the expected global recovery, as hopes were pinned on an improvement of the Chinese economy. We assume that the corona outbreak will shave off 0.2pp of Germany's Q1 GDP, making a technical recession quite probable during the winter half. [more]
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