East German Economy: Demand Push Stronger than Structural Deficiencies
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
In 2006, growth of production was surprisingly strong in Eastern Germany. The structural deficiencies there would have suggested a slower pace. In particular, linkages with national and international business cycles have been underestimated. To a large part, the reason why output grew by 3 per cent did not come from Eastern Germany itself, but from the Old Länder and from abroad. In the New Länder, the strong upward swing in investment activity stimulated the economy. However, owing to a small increase in total income of private households, their purchasing power lagged behind.
The improved ability of East German firms to absorb cyclical impulses from exports and from Germany’s general investment activity proved to be a crucial factor. In particular, the endowment of workplaces with modern production facilities as well as the continued reduction in the disadvantages with respect to cost-competitiveness in the tradable goods sector were beneficial. The labour cost advantage compared to West German competitors increased further while the disadvantage compared to those from Central and Eastern Europe decreased.
Benefiting from these factors, economic activity in Eastern Germany will grow faster than in the Old Länder as long as the upswing in Germany and abroad remains strong. In 2007 and 2008, investments – especially in equipment – and exports will be the driving forces again. For exports, the strongly expanding markets in Central and Eastern Europe as well as in Russia will gain in importance. As income and employment prospects improve, private consumption will support the growth in production. Registered unemployment should decrease below the 1-million threshold.
Manufacturing will remain the primary force of the upswing; its advantages in production costs will not vanish as long as, even in presence of scarcity of skilled labour, salaries and wages do not increase more than in Western Germany. In the wake of robust economic growth, the New Länder will make further progress in catching up with respect to production and income.
Companies will regain support from the banking industry. Yet, investment capital still stems from public funding programmes to a non-negligible extent. In the medium run, access to credit will ease as a result of further improvements in the firms’ net worth position. However, dependency on internal funds remains high and exposes companies to comparatively strong cyclical risks. In an economic downturn, the structural deficiencies of the East German economy will impair economic expansion.
Die Lage der Weltwirtschaft und der deutschen Wirtschaft im Frühjahr 2007
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
In spring 2007, the global economy remains robust. While growth rates have declined slightly from last year, as business activity in the US has slowed, they continue to reflect an upswing, which by now has held on for a notably long time. Especially the developing and emerging countries have been raising output very fast, due in part to their increasing role in the international division of labour. In the industrialised economies, on the other hand, the current recovery has not been remarkably strong. So far the slowdown in the US economy has not spilled over to other regions and the Euro Area as well as Japan continue to expand at a high pace. Here expansive monetary policy provided a notable support. Buoyant financial markets stimulated the world economy additionally, even though market volatility has increased since the end of February. The US central bank’s current concern with inflationary risks keeps it from loosening its slightly restrictive monetary policy. It will be the second half of the year – when price pressures have eased – until the Fed makes its first rate cut. The ECB, on the other hand, has been preparing financial markets for a further increase in interest rates by summer. In 2007 and 2008 the growth disparities in the industrialised countries will diminish. On one hand, the upswing in the Euro Area will start to moderate, as fiscal policy hampers business activity and monetary policy will not stimulate anymore. On the other hand, the US economy will slowly gain pace from summer onwards; the emerging markets will continue to develop in a highly dynamic fashion. World-GDP in this and next year will likely rise by about 3 ¼ % in 2007, which is still faster than in the average of the last ten years. World trade will rise by 7 ½ % in the coming two years. An oil price of 65 US-Dollar and an exchange rate between the Euro and the US-Dollar of 1.32 were assumed for both years 2007 and 2008. The real estate market in the USA continues to be a risk for...
Business cycle latest: Besides increasing downward risks, the German domestic business cycle puts in a higher gear
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
Die deutsche Wirtschaft ist in den ersten Monaten dieses Jahres nach kurzzeitiger Pause auf den Aufschwungpfad zurückgekehrt. Treibende Kraft war die Nachfrage aus dem Ausland. Aber auch die Unternehmen in Deutschland schafften mehr Ausrüstungs- und die privaten Haushalte mehr Konsumgüter als Ende 2005 an. Der Aufschwung entwickelte sich damit auf einer breiten Basis. Seine Stärke blieb jedoch hinter den Erwartungen zurück. Die Expansion der Nachfrage zog eine hohe Dynamik der Importe nach sich. Dies bremste den Produktionsanstieg. Zudem stand die besonders ungünstige Witterung in den Wintermonaten der Entfaltung der Bauaktivitäten im Wege. So fiel der Start im neuen Jahr verhalten aus.
Diversifikation und regionale Wirtschafts- und Beschäftigungsentwicklung - Eine empirische Analyse für ausgewählte deutsche Gebiete
Jahrbuch für Regionalwissenschaft,
This article analyses the effects of heterogeneous economic structures on the long-term development of regional employment. A simple model is introduced to illustrate the beneficial outcomes for households as well as for enterprises of locating in highly diversified municipalities because risk (volatility of income, recruitment costs in a broader sense) diminishes for both. Econometric results for a sample of municipalities in Lower Saxony provide some evidence for a positive effect of local economic diversification on employment opportunities. The results seem to be not confined to the aggregated local labour demand but also apply to most branches the local business sector.