German Economy on Track — Economic Policy Needs to Be Realigned
The German economy is experiencing a moderate recovery: GDP is expected to grow by 1.9 percent this year, 1.4 percent next year, and 1.6 percent in 2018. Over the course of the forecast period, capacity utilisation will be somewhat higher than in the longterm average. Nevertheless, the contribution of corporate investment to the current upswing is minimal. The global economy is generating only minor stimulating effects, which means that exports are increasing only moderately. The extremely low long-term interest rates are likely to reflect not only the current monetary policy, but also low growth expectations. All of these factors are inhibiting investment into equipment, and thus, consumption continues to be the main growth driver. Private consumption is benefiting from the sustained increase in employment; the high expenditures for accommodating and integrating the refugees is still having a strong impact on public spending. Residential construction is getting a boost from the low interest rates.
29.09.2016 • 40/2016
Joint Economic Forecast: German Economy on Track – Economic Policy needs to be Realigned
Thanks to a stable job market and solid consumption, the German economy is experiencing a moderate upswing. The GDP is expected to increase by 1.9 percent this year, 1.4 percent in 2017, and 1.6 percent in 2018, according to the Gemeinschaftsdiagnose (GD, joint economic forecast) that was prepared by five of Europe’s leading economic research institutes on behalf of the Federal Government. The most recent GD, which was released in April, predicted a GDP growth rate of 1.6 percent for 2016 and 1.5 percent for 2017.
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02.09.2016 • 35/2016
The German Economy: Still Robust Despite Sliding Sentiment
The prospects for the German economy are still quite favorable. While sentiment indicators suggest that growth will slow at the end of the year, domestic demand will continue on an upward trend. The German GDP should increase by 1.9% in 2016. For 2017 we expect a lower growth rate of 1.2%“Weaker export volumes and higher growth of imports are the relevant factors for the slowdown”, says Prof Oliver Holtemöller, IWH Vice president. Unemployment will rise a bit as more refugees enter the labor market. Consumer price inflation remains moderate. The general government balance (cyclically ad¬justed as well as unadjusted) will be in surplus in both 2016 and 2017.
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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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Gauging the Effects of Fiscal Stimulus Packages in the Euro Area
Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control,
We seek to quantify the impact on euro area GDP of the European Economic Recovery Plan (EERP) enacted in response to the financial crisis of 2008–2009. To do so, we estimate an extended version of the ECB's New Area-Wide Model with a richly specified fiscal sector. The estimation results point to the existence of important complementarities between private and government consumption and, to a lesser extent, between private and public capital. We first examine the implied present-value multipliers for seven distinct fiscal instruments and show that the estimated complementarities result in fiscal multipliers larger than one for government consumption and investment. We highlight the importance of monetary accommodation for these findings. We then show that the EERP, if implemented as initially enacted, had a sizeable, although short-lived impact on euro area GDP. Since the EERP comprised both revenue and expenditure-based fiscal stimulus measures, the total multiplier is below unity.
Pre-announcement and Timing: The Effects of a Government Expenditure Shock
European Economic Review,
An econometric strategy to identify a pre-announced fiscal policy shock is proposed. I show that the reduced form innovations can be recovered by estimating a Vector-moving-average model using the Kalman filter. The structural effects are identified exploiting the shock's pre-announced nature, which leads to potentially different signs of the responses of some endogenous variables during the announcement and after the realization of the shock. I illustrate my strategy by identifying a pre-announced shock to government consumption expenditures. I find that the response of private consumption is significantly negative on impact, rises and becomes significantly positive two quarters after the realization of the policy shock.
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.
Tentative Recovery, Public Debt on the Rise
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
In autumn 2009, the world economy appears to be growing again. The situation has improved mainly because drastic measures of central banks and governments stabilized the financial sector. More recently, the real economy is supported by fiscal programs taking effect. However, recoveries are usually slow if, as it is the case now, recessions have been intertwined with banking and housing crises. Thus, the industrial economies will not gain much dynamics this year and next, while chances for an upswing in emerging economies are much better.
The German economy stabilized during summer as well, with remarkably robust private consumption. An upswing, however, is, due to several factors, not in sight: Some important export markets will not rebound quickly, and consumption will be dampened by rising unemployment that, up to now, has been contained, not least with the aid of short-term working schemes. All in all, production shrinks by 5% in 2009 and will increase by no more than 1.2% next year. Public deficits are on the rise, with (in relation to GDP) 3.2% this year and 5.2% in 2010.
A credit crunch due to deteriorating balance sheets of banks is a major risk for the German economy. Policy should address this problem by making sure that equity ratios are sufficiently high. One way would be to impose public capital on banks that do not comply with certain regulatory ratios. These should be higher than the ones presently in force. Fiscal policy should begin consolidating in 2011, mainly by dampening the rise of expenditures. Tax cuts are only justified if they are accompanied by very ambitious spending cuts.
Russia: Ongoing Strong Economic Growth Overshadowed by High Inflation
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
Russian economic growth in 2007 again was driven by strong private consumption and investment, grew by double-digit rates. The roles of budget expenditures and borrowing of private and state-owned firms from abroad in financing investments increased rapidly. Russian inflation climbed again; it was driven up by increases in food prices in line with rising food prices around the world. Inflation pressures had sharpened through more budget spending and scheduled rate increases for electricity and gas as well as for regulated prices for municipal services. Broad money supply (M2) rose rapidly because of strong foreign currency inflows, too. Central bank seeks to bring inflation under control by tightening monetary policy this year. That will somewhat dampen economic growth, but nevertheless GDP growth in the near future will remain at high levels.