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Berlin: No longer “poor, but sexy“

January 16, 2019
Region:
Berlin found it difficult to adapt to the market economy after Germany’s re-unification. Both parts of the divided city, the eastern and the western, had to cope with fundamental changes – the eastern for obvious reasons, the western because it had benefited from generous subsidies until then. Berlin has therefore been lagging behind the rest of western Germany for decades. By now, however, it is not only catching up with western German metropolitan areas, but even beginning to overtake them. Employment growth in cutting-edge industries suggests that Berlin is truly becoming an innovation hub. And this development serves as an excellent basis for the residential market. While we mainly focus on developments in 2018 in this article, the house price trends are likely to remain in place for some time to come. [more]

More documents from Jochen Moebert

53 Documents
November 4, 2019
Region:
1
German exports and global trade have been moving in lockstep recently and more or less grinded to a halt in yoy terms. We found that the Bundesbank’s leading indicator for global industrial production leads German exports by 4 to 5 months. Recent declines in this indicator do speak against a recovery in German exports before the end of Q1 2020, despite recent signs of stabilization in German foreign order intake. (Also included in this issue: house prices in Germany, labour market, automotive industry and German politics) [more]
August 19, 2019
Region:
2
We see Germany in a technical recession, as we expect another ¼% GDP drop in Q3. Our forecast for 2019 is now 0.3%. Given no indication for a rebound we lowered our 2020 forecast to 0.7%. We acknowledge these revisions do not properly account for the recent accumulation of risks. Given the increasingly fragile state of the global economy, the realization of one or more risks could easily push the economy into a completely different scenario, where growth revisions of a few tenths of a percentage point will not be sufficient. (Also in this issue: German automotive industry, chemical industry, house prices, corporate lending, the view from Berlin, digital politics.) [more]
July 8, 2019
Region:
3
In case of a snap election in Germany, a CDU/CSU-Greens coalition could be an option. Given both camps' radically different political positions in many areas, such a coalition would require both to make significant compromises. A black-green government would need to direct its focus and its available financial resources to climate protection and the energy transition. Corporates and consumers would have to bear considerable costs. This also spells a dilemma for fiscal policy. A larger share of government spending would necessarily have to be allocated to providing subsidies and mitigating the social impact of a quicker energy transition. Citizens and corporates cannot hope for major tax relief. (Also included in this issue: German goods exports, German industry, labour market, automotive business cycle.) [more]
May 20, 2019
Region:
4
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]
April 9, 2019
Region:
5
If you think of Germany in the night (and you are an economist) three questions will jolt you from your sleep. Will external demand recover? Will the auto industry overcome its WLTP-induced supply shock and (if you are a Keynesian economist) will the government launch a fiscal package? The answers, of course, are not independent of each other. (Included in this issue: German exports 2019, world trade, the automotive industry's performance, public finances and the view from Berlin) [more]
March 14, 2019
Region:
6
The house price cycle in Germany should remain in place in 2019. But we expect much more divergence across regions and a heavily increasing complexity of causal impact channels. Led by immigration and the continuous labour market uptrend, house prices and rents will likely continue to rise. The risk of overvaluations and a full-blown price bubble in the German housing market is rising. However, the price uptrend is likely to continue for years to come, in Germany as a whole and in most major cities. In this report we look at the housing markets in Munich, Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Düsseldorf, Stuttgart and Leipzig and we comment on the German office market. [more]
March 4, 2019
Region:
7
The recession in German industry can be traced to the massive slowdown of global trade in 2018. Will the German service sector withstand the recession in industry, as some recent survey data seems to suggest? We doubt it. In previous downswings in the manufacturing sector services were pulled lower, too. Indeed, the two sectors' output trends during 2018 did already follow this pattern. (Also in this issue: Economic Minister Altmaier's National Industrial Strategy 2030, the German Federal Budget, lower total and rental inflation thanks to new basket, corporate lending in Germany, the view from Berlin) [more]
December 14, 2018
Region:
8
The 0.2% qoq drop in Q3 GDP was, of course, largely due to the WLTP effect, but underlying growth has also clearly slowed in 2018. After mustering 1.6% in 2018, we expect German GDP to expand by 1.3% in 2019. Growth should be only marginally higher in 2020, despite a strong positive working day effect, as a further slowing of the global economy and EUR appreciation will provide considerable external headwinds. [more]
December 12, 2018
Topic:
9
Since the rally in 2017, the buzzwords bitcoin and blockchain have been omnipresent in the public. Still, the understanding of how much potential the technology actually offers is often rudimentary. To shed more light onto the discussion, we discuss the manifold technological facets as well as the social changes that might come on the heels of the technology. After outlining the utopia, we point out the technical as well as the social hurdles that are standing in the way of the revolution. [more]
November 8, 2018
10
German exporters have had to deal with numerous challenges over the last few years. Exports to the UK, Russia and Turkey have been unusually volatile and trended downwards. Nevertheless, aggregate German exports rose by more than 3% p.a. in real terms between 2012 and 2017. Since the beginning of 2018, the trade conflict between the US and China has steadily intensified. The challenges might spread and turn into a global problem if the US begins to levy import tariffs on additional imports from China and/or increases existing tariffs. Doing so would probably cause the Chinese authorities to respond in kind. [more]
October 4, 2018
Region:
11
Weak currencies and economic difficulties in emerging markets dampen German exports. Over the past few months, the euro has appreciated against the currencies of many emerging markets which will likely curtail German exports to these countries in 2018 and 2019. In 2017, the ten largest German export markets among the emerging markets accounted for some 16% of total exports. According to our estimation model, German exports to this country group are set to increase by a nominal 3.5% to 4% in 2018 and 2019. This would be a noticeable loss of momentum compared with 2017 when exports increased by just over 7%. The country group’s share of total exports for the industrial sector is highest for traditional capital goods manufacturers, with mechanical engineering taking the lead. The ten emerging economies examined accounted for just over 22% of all exports in this sector in 2017. [more]
September 4, 2018
Region:
12
German economy in H2 still goldilocks despite external headwinds. We maintain our forecast of around 0.5% quarterly GDP growth in both Q3 and Q4, following average growth of 0.4% in H1. The H1 growth composition, however, marginally lowers the annual average to 1.9% (2.0%) and risks remain more skewed to the downside. In Berlin, the Groko agreed on an expensive social policy package. Albeit medium- and long-term financing of the package is not secured, FM Scholz came up with an additional, even more costly idea for extended pension benefits. A silver lining could be if the Groko managed to launch a law on labour migration. (Also included in this issue: German manufacturing industry, shortage of qualified workers in the construction sector, corporate taxes) [more]
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