14.12.2017 • 39/2017
Cyclical upswing in Germany and in the world
At the turn of the year, the cyclical upswing in Germany continues. Gross domestic product is expected to increase by 2.2% in 2017, and because this year has seen significantly fewer working days than before, the rate of change amounts, adjusted for calendar effects, to even 2.5%. “The upswing is broad-based”, says Oliver Holtemöller, head of the Department Macroeconomics and IWH vice president. “For quite a long time now, significant increases in employment have been driving private incomes, consumption and housing construction. The latter was, in addition, stimulated by low interest rates.” Currently, German exports are benefiting from the vivid international economy. Not least since monetary policy in the euro area remains expansionary for the time being, we expect the upturn to continue in 2018 and production to increase again by 2.2%. Consumer price inflation is, with 1.7%, still moderate in both 2017 and 2018. Although domestic price pressures are on the rise, the effects of the energy price increase in 2017 expire in 2018, and the appreciation of the euro in the summer of 2017 will dampen price dynamics.
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Multidimensional Well-being and Regional Disparities in Europe
Journal of Common Market Studies,
Using data from the OECD Regional Well-Being Index – a set of quality-of-life indicators measured at the sub-national level – we construct a set of composite well-being indices. We analyze the extent to which the choice of five alternative aggregation methods affects the well-being ranking of regions. We find that regional inequality in these composite measures is lower than regional inequality in real GDP per capita. For most aggregation methods, the rank correlation across regions appears to be quite high. It is also shown that using alternative indices instead of GDP per capita would only have a small effect on the set of regions eligible for aid from EU Structural Funds. The exception appears to be an aggregation based on how individual dimensions relate to average life satisfaction across regions, which would substantially change both the ranking of regions and which regions would be eligible for EU funds.
The Macroeconomic Development of the GDR until 1989
Schneider, Jürgen (Hrsg.): Die Ursachen für den Zusammenbruch der Sowjetunion und der DDR (1945-1990). Eine ordnungstheoretische Analyse, Beiträge zur Wirtschafts- u. Sozialgeschichte. Band 132.2. Stuttgart,
The paper analyzes the crucial events and political strategies driving the economic history of the former GDR. Applying the growth accounting model I estimate the impact of labor and capital inputs as wells as of the technological progress on GDP growth in different time periods. The main finding is the dominant role of total factor productivity in economic growth only during the economic reforms in the second halve of the 60ies.
Aktuelle Trends: Sachsen-Anhalt kann beim Wirtschaftswachstum nicht mit Ostdeutschland mithalten
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
Die Daten zum Wirtschaftswachstum des Arbeitskreises Volkswirtschaftliche Gesamtrechnungen der Länder für das Jahr 2016 zeigen erneut, dass Sachsen-Anhalt von der wirtschaftlichen Entwicklung im übrigen Ostdeutschland abgekoppelt ist. Während das Wirtschaftswachstum in Ostdeutschland im Jahr 2016 insgesamt 2,1% betrug, stellte Sachsen-Anhalt mit nur 1,0% wieder einmal das ostdeutsche Schlusslicht dar. Im gesamtdeutschen Vergleich schnitt lediglich das Saarland noch schlechter ab. Berlin und Sachsen waren mit jeweils 2,7% bundesweit die Spitzenreiter beim Wirtschaftswachstum, Thüringen lag mit 1,8% gleichauf mit Westdeutschland (vgl. Abbildung a).
The Liquidity Premium of Safe Assets: The Role of Government Debt Supply
IWH Discussion Papers,
The persistent premium of government debt attributes to two main reasons: absolute nominal safety and liquidity. This paper employs two types of measures of government debt supply to disentangle the safety and liquidity part of the premium. The empirical evidence shows that, after controlling for the opportunity cost of money, the quantitative impact of total government debt-to-GDP ratio is still significant and negative, which is consistent with the theoretical predictions of the CAPM with utility surplus of holding convenience assets. The relative availability measure, the ratio of total government liability to all sector total liability, separates the liquidity premium from the safety premium and has a negative impact too. Both theoretical and empirical results suggest that the substitutability between government debt and private safe assets dictates the quantitative impact of the government debt supply.
12.04.2017 • 19/2017
Joint Economic Forecast Spring 2017: Upturn in Germany strengthens in spite of global economic risks
The German economy is already in the fifth year of a moderate upturn. According to the Gemeinschaftsdiagnose (GD, joint economic forecast) that was prepared by Germany’s five leading economic research institutes on behalf of the Federal Government, capacity utilization is gradually increasing, and aggregate production capacities are now likely to have slightly exceeded their normal utilisation levels. However, cyclical dynamics remain low compared to earlier periods of recoveries, as consumption expenditures, which do not exhibit strong fluctuations, have been the main driving force so far. In addition, net migration increases potential output, counteracting a stronger capacity tightening. “Gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to expand by 1.5% (1.8% adjusted for calendar effects) and 1.8% in the next year. Unemployment is expected to fall to 6.1% in 2016, to 5.7% in 2017 and 5.4% in 2018”, says Oliver Holtemöller, Head of the Department Macroeconomics and vice president of the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) – Member of the Leibniz Association. Inflation is expected to increase markedly over the forecast horizon. After an increase in consumer prices of only 0.5% in 2016, the inflation rate is expected to rise to 1.8% in 2017 and 1.7% in 2018. The public budget surplus will reduce only modestly. Public finances are slightly stimulating economic activity in the current year and are cyclically neutral in the year ahead.
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