IWH Economic Outlook 2004: No longer waiting for the economic upturn
The Economic Outlook 2004 updates the IWH forecast for 2004 and gives a first outlook on 2005. The world recovery is mainly driven by the strong economic impulses from the USA. Whereas the upturn in the US is domestically driven, the impetus in the euro area is coming from external trade. Nonetheless in Germany corporate investment activity still is slow. Although the tax reductions in 2004 will support private consumption, its overall economic impulse will be weak. German GDP in 2004 will increase 1.6% and 1.8% in 2005. At the labour market no clear improvement can be expected till the second half of 2004; on a yearly average employment will decrease by 100 000 persons in 2004. Albeit the partly broad forward third instalment of the tax reform, fiscal policy will have a restrictive aim. Monetary policy on the other hand will continue to be highly expansive, but as the output gap shrinks the ECB can be expected to increase interest rates moderately.