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21.06.2016 • 25/2016
German Federal Constitutional Court makes right decision on Draghis OMT programme
I welcome the decision by the German Federal Constitutional Court. The court approved OMT (outright monetary transactions), which enables the European Central Bank (ECB) to purchase short-term government bonds in secondary markets in order to stabilize euro member countries in a crisis.
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16.12.2015 • 45/2015
German Economy: Strong domestic demand compensates for weak exports
The upturn of the German economy is expected to gain further momentum as a consequence of strong domestic demand. Real gross domestic product is expected to increase by 1.6% in 2016. Consumer prices are expected to rise by 0.9%. Unemployment is expected to rise slightly because it will take time to integrate refugees into the labour market.
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Institutionelle Defizite und wachsende Spannungen in der Euro-Zone
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
The introduction of the Euro was certainly a success. Nevertheless, behind this success one may find some increasing asymmetries and imbalances across member countries, which may undermine the stability of the common currency in the long run. Tensions include the paralysis of fiscal policy, increasing divergence in per capita income, a high volatility of real state prices, and diverging unit labour cost developments. The given forms of macroeconomic coordination seem not to be appropriate to mitigate the problems. Obviously, countries can compete with wage policy only after currencies and their exchange rates were abolished, and the use of fiscal policy has been restricted. In particular, Germany and Austria were successful in competitive wage policy, while countries like Spain, Greece, Portugal, Italy, and also France did not yet use the competitiveness channel. Germany was able to reduce its unit labour costs more than other countries by labour market reforms and higher indirect taxes in replacing social taxes. However, the advantage may proof to be temporary only, for other countries will be forced to follow the German example. Given an ECB inflation target of 2 %, more competitive wage policy in the Euro area might jeopardize the stability of the currency through deflation and higher unemployment. It does not wonder that the discussion on other and new forms of macroeconomic coordination revived recently. This debate does not only include the introduction of a central EU budget with anti-cyclical effects, but also forms of direct and indirect coordination of national wage policies. In any case, it would be useful to oblige national wage policies to obey the common interest of the Union.
The effects of demographic changes on the level and structure of private consumption - a forecast for Germany until 2050 -
IWH Discussion Papers,
This thesis analyzes the impact of different demografic scenarios on level and composition of private consumption in Germany. The analysis is based on the current household budget survey (Einkommens- und Verbrauchsstichprobe 1998) whose datas are adapted to the concepts of national accounting. Therefore households have to be defined by demografic aspects to investigate their consumption behavior. In the next step this will be used to forecast the effects of an aging population on private consumption by utilize a shift share analysis. The results lay open that the demografic impact is minor compared to economic factors influencing the composition of private consumption. This holds also in regard to the development of the absolute level of private consumption.