Joint Economic Forecast
Joint Economic Forecast The joint economic forecast is an instrument for evaluating...
19.12.2018 • 23/2018
IWH Mid-term Projections: The German Economy and Public Finances 2018 to 2025
In 2018 the general government overall balance is likely to be in surplus by almost 60 billion euros. In the medium term, however, demographic conditions will deteriorate, as will public finances. The financial position of the German state will nevertheless remain stable until 2025, unless major negative shocks occur. “But even if interest rates rose significantly or foreign demand declined markedly, only moderate deficits would arise”, says Oliver Holtemöller, head of the Department of Macroeconomics and vice president at Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH). However, given the expected reduction of the surplus under existing legislation, there is no room for further increases in spending.
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Zu den rentenpolitischen Plänen im Koalitionsvertrag 2018 von CDU, CSU und SPD: Konsequenzen, Finanzierungsoptionen und Reformbedarf
Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftspolitik,
In the coalition agreement from February 7, 2018, the new German federal government drafts its public pension policy, which has to be evaluated against the background of demographic dynamics in Germany. In this paper, the consequences of public pensions related policy measures for the German public pension insurance are illustrated using a simulation model. In the long run, the intended extensions of benefits would lead to an increase in the contribution rate to the German public pension insurance of about two and a half percentage points. Referring to pension systems of other countries, we discuss measures in order to limit this increase in the contribution rate.
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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Germany’s Economic Experts Raise Forecast Slightly: Joint Economic Forecast Spring 2018
The German economy continues to boom, but the air is getting thinner. Unused economic capacities are gradually shrinking, leading to a slight loss of economic impetus. The pace of economic expansion nevertheless remains brisk: the upturn in the world economy will continue to stimulate exports; and the domestic economy is also expected to remain buoyant thanks to the exceptionally favourable situation in the labour market. The fiscal measures outlined by Germany’s new government in its coalition agreement can be expected to stimulate demand. Annual average economic output can be expected to rise by 2.2 percent this year and by 2.0 percent in 2019. This represents a 0.2 percentage point increase in the institutes’ assessment of growth in gross domestic product versus their autumn 2017 forecast. Employment will continue to see clear growth, but will be weakened by labour market shortages. At the same time, gross wages can be expected to increase markedly. The inflation rate will also rise gradually from 1.7 percent this year to 1.9 percent in 2019.
The coalition treaty from a fiscal point of view
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
After weeks of negotiations the coalition finally agreed on the conditions for their political work. Not surprisingly, the coalition agreement is complex and intransparent – with a multitude of single measures far away from a precise definition. Quantifying the programme and estimating resulting cash flows is currently difficult; official calculations are – if at all – only partly available. Anyhow, the contract will form the basis for economic policy during the next four years; therefore its evaluation by now is indispensable. The thin red line of the agreement – not astonishingly when considering the precarious financial situation of the public sector – is consolidation. However, more than 80% of the consolidation volume results from the revenue side. Though one third of this is due to the cutback of tax exemptions, the lion’s share comes from raising tax rates, mainly the VAT standard rate. In contrast, cutting back public expenditure is minor and the agreement clearly comes short of the Koch/Steinbrück proposal; even new tax reliefs are created. The consolidation is almost completely borne by private households. Enterprises as a whole are barely hit. However, they have to wait until 2008 for a reform of company taxation – one of the most pressing problems in this legislative period. To reduce the companies tax burden until the reform starts the conditions for tax depreciation are temporarily relaxed. Anyway, from an international point of view the statutory tax rate is an important signal to enterprises deciding where to invest. Lowering effective tax rates by changing depreciation conditions is intransparent and, thus, will be less effective. Furthermore savings within the public sector are planned to accomplish consolidation; 10 billion Euro should result from efficiency gains and reduced expenditure. Consolidation measures mainly focus on the budget of the federal government. However, Länder and communities will participate in the additional tax revenues. In contrast, social securities will loose – and therefore also the share of employment that is subject to social insurance contribution. Particularly the unemployment insurance will be burdened by the decrease of its premium rate. Besides, the federal government will reduce its grants to the pension funds and most notably the health system. The contract is dominated by fiscal constraints. Cyclical requirements are considered only cursory and pressing structural reforms are put off. The reforms of company’s taxation, of fiscal federalism, of the health system as well as a proceeding reform of the labour market are only proposed. How and when measures in these fields are realised will determine whether fiscal policy can set a new course.