Vigorous upswing continues
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
The worldwide upswing has gained momentum since last autumn. The main cause for the high growth dynamics is a monetary policy that is very expansive not only in advanced economies, where the utilization rates for production capacities are mostly still low, but also in emerging market economies that in general have already recovered from the Great Recession.
The German economy participates in the worldwide upswing. Here the recovery is ahead of those in most other advanced economies. Both exports and domestic demand are strongly expanding. One reason for the high growth dynamics is that key interest rates are particularly low for Germany, as the ECB has to take into account that many euro area economies are much more fragile. In addition, Germany still benefits from the wage moderation and the labour market reforms in the past decade: employment is expanding strongly, and firms find many profitable investment projects.
Major risks for this forecast are structural problems of some advanced economies that had become visible during the Great Recession and are still unresolved (concerning the US housing market and the crisis of confidence in the fiscal sustainability of some euro area countries in particular). A further risk is the possibility of further oil price hikes due to political instability in North Africa and the Middle East.
Midterm Projection: Economic Development and the Public Budget in the Years 2011 - 2015
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
In 2010 economic activity in Germany improved steadily. While global trade increased in the first half of the year – and, thus, German exports – domestic demand became increasingly important. Private Investment recovered and – even more important – consumption contributed to economic growth. Moreover, employment reached an all-time high and unemployment decreased further during the year.
Until 2015 economic growth will keep to be relatively high. German external trade will still gain momentum by the development of global trade. However, economic development will be driven more and more by domestic demand. Interest rates will remain relatively low and stimulate investment activity. Moreover, unemployment will continually shrink, partly reflecting demographic developments, but partly mirrored in increasing employment. Due to a higher degree of employment security and rising wages consumption will gain momentum. Real GDP will increase by 2.3% in 2011 and by 1.7% in 2012. From 2013 – 2015 it will rise by 1½% on average.
While the German economy will gain strength, public budgets will clearly improve. In 2010 the deficit ratio exceeds the Maastricht threshold only slightly; in relation to nominal GDP the German budget deficit was about 3.2%. Concerning the high fiscal stimulus, mainly given in the years 2009 and 2010, the deficit ratio is surprisingly low. While income and wage taxes as well as the receipts from social security contributions already increased, unemployment benefits already declined substantially.
The midterm projection shows a favorable development of public budgets. While employment remains high and unemployment continually decreases, the wage tax and the social security contributions will boost revenue. On contrast the same development will lessen public expenditure, especially transfers.
This projection relies heavily on the assumption that fiscal policy will trace its consolidation plans. For instance, it is assumed that the federal level will implement their plans from summer/autumn 2010 and that there will be no additional measures. In this case, in 2015 the German public budget will show a surplus of ¼% in relation to GDP.
Should We Trust in Leading Indicators? Evidence from the Recent Recession
IWH Discussion Papers,
The paper analyzes leading indicators for GDP and industrial production in Germany. We focus on the performance of single and pooled leading indicators during the pre-crisis and crisis period using various weighting schemes. Pairwise and joint significant tests are used to evaluate single indicator as well as forecast combination methods. In addition, we use an end-of-sample instability test to investigate the stability of forecasting models during the recent financial crisis. We find in general that only a small number of single indicator models were performing well before the crisis. Pooling can substantially increase the reliability of leading indicator forecasts. During the crisis the relative performance of many leading indicator models increased. At short horizons, survey indicators perform best, while at longer horizons financial indicators, such as term spreads and risk spreads, improve relative to the benchmark.
Inflation Expectations: Does the Market Beat Professional Forecasts?
IWH Discussion Papers,
The present paper compares expected inflation to (econometric) inflation forecasts
based on a number of forecasting techniques from the literature using a panel of
ten industrialized countries during the period of 1988 to 2007. To capture expected
inflation we develop a recursive filtering algorithm which extracts unexpected inflation from real interest rate data, even in the presence of diverse risks and a potential Mundell-Tobin-effect.
The extracted unexpected inflation is compared to the forecasting errors of ten
econometric forecasts. Beside the standard AR(p) and ARMA(1,1) models, which
are known to perform best on average, we also employ several Phillips curve based approaches, VAR, dynamic factor models and two simple model avering approaches.
Three methods of forecasting currency crises: Which made the run in signaling the South African currency crisis of June 2006?
IWH Discussion Papers,
In this paper we test the ability of three of the most popular methods to forecast the South African currency crisis of June 2006. In particular we are interested in the out-ofsample performance of these methods. Thus, we choose the latest crisis to conduct an out-of-sample experiment. In sum, the signals approach was not able to forecast the outof- sample crisis of correctly; the probit approach was able to predict the crisis but just with models, that were based on raw data. Employing a Markov-regime-switching approach also allows to predict the out-of-sample crisis. The answer to the question of which method made the run in forecasting the June 2006 currency crisis is: the Markovswitching approach, since it called most of the pre-crisis periods correctly. However, the “victory” is not straightforward. In-sample, the probit models perform remarkably well and it is also able to detect, at least to some extent, out-of-sample currency crises before their occurrence. It can, therefore, not be recommended to focus on one approach only when evaluating the risk for currency crises.