Nowcasting East German GDP Growth: a MIDAS Approach
Economic forecasts are an important element of rational economic policy both on the federal and on the local or regional level. Solid budgetary plans for government expenditures and revenues rely on efficient macroeconomic projections. However, official data on quarterly regional GDP in Germany are not available, and hence, regional GDP forecasts do not play an important role in public budget planning. We provide a new quarterly time series for East German GDP and develop a forecasting approach for East German GDP that takes data availability in real time and regional economic indicators into account. Overall, we find that mixed-data sampling model forecasts for East German GDP in combination with model averaging outperform regional forecast models that only rely on aggregate national information.
18.12.2018 • 22/2018
IWH leads large scale EU research project on productivity
Is productivity growth slowing in industrialised countries? And if so, why? From the start of 2019, the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) will be addressing these questions as the coordinator of a new EU project. Economists and statistics experts from nine European partners will collaborate on the three-year project, entitled MICROPROD. With a total budget of just under three million euros, it is the IWH’s largest EU project to date.
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19.04.2018 • 7/2018
Joint Economic Forecast Spring 2018: Germany’s Economic Experts Raise Forecast Slightly
Berlin, 19 April – Germany’s leading economic experts raised their forecasts for 2018 and 2019 slightly in their Spring Joint Economic Forecast released on Thursday in Berlin. They now expect economic growth of 2.2 percent for this year and 2.0 percent for 2019, versus 2.0 percent and 1.8 percent respectively in their autumn forecast. “The German economy is still booming, but the air is getting thinner as unused capacities are shrinking“, notes Timo Wollmershaeuser, ifo Head of Economic Forecasting. Commenting on the new German government’s economic policy, he adds: “It is precisely when the government’s coffers are full that fiscal policy should reflect the implications of its actions for overall economic stability and the sustainability of public finances. The extension of statutory pension benefits outlined in the coalition agreement runs counter to the idea of sustainability.”
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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.
Economic Development 2002 and 2003: Investments – The Achilles Heel of the Economy
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
The Article analyses and forecasts the economic developments for the World and German in 2002 and 2003. During the winter 2001/2002 the World Economy was able to pull out of its trough. Nonetheless, the upswing did not reach investments and was mainly driven by consumption and exports in the USA and the remaining major economies, respectively. In the course of this and next year Investors will gradually regain their trust in the economy. The same will be the case for consumers in Germany and Europe. As a result a modest recovery on a wide front will develop. In the course of next year this recovery will start to weaken. In Germany, Wage Policy has retracted from its former moderate stance. Hence, although due to the improving economic conditions and the resulting slowed employment cuts by the end of 2002 as well as employment increases in 2003, the upswing on the labour market will not reach the dynamics of the 1999/2000 recovery. Fiscal Policy, caused by the need to consolidate the public budget, will be restrictive. Despite the low inflation risks, by the end of this year the ECB will have raised its major interest rate by 1/2 percentage point. Nonetheless, as interest rates in real terms will remain at relatively low levels a restrictive impact from the Monetary Policy in Germany and the Euro Area will is not expected. The most important Data for the World Economy and Germany are being stated in detailed tables.