17.12.2020 • 27/2020
Much more bankruptcies expected than currently observed in Germany
In a recession, the number of bankruptcies usually increases with some delay. However, despite the corona crisis, the number of bankruptcies in Germany is lower than predicted based on the long-term trend. The state aid packages and the suspension of the insolvency rules have led to fewer bankruptcies than expected. The Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) has estimated how many bankruptcies would actually have been likely to occur by industry because of the corona recession if the typical economic pattern had been in place. The results indicate that after the end of the state aid and exception rules bankruptcies are likely to pick up.
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High public deficit not only because of Corona - Medium-term options for action for the state
According to the IWH's medium-term projection, Germany's gross domestic product will grow by an average of ½% in price-adjusted terms in the years to 2025, which is 1 percentage point slower than in the period from 2013 to 2019. This is due not only to the sharp slump in 2020, but also to the fact that the labour force will decline noticeably. Government revenues will be expanding much more slowly than in previous years. Even after the pandemic crisis is overcome, the state budget is likely to have a structural deficit of about 2% relative to GDP if the legal framework remains unchanged, and the debt brake will continue to be violated. Consolidation measures to reduce this deficit ratio to ½ % would push production in Germany below the normal rate of capacity utilization. Simulations with the IWH fiscal policy model show that consolidation on the expenditure side would reduce production by less than consolidation on the revenue side. There is much to be said, also from a theoretical point of view, for not abolishing the debt brake, but for relaxing it to some extent.
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