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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On the Distribution of Refugees in the EU
The current situation regarding the migration of refugees can only be handled efficiently through closer international cooperation in the field of asylum policy. From an economic point of view, it would be reasonable to distribute incoming refugees among all EU countries according to a distribution key that reflects differences in the costs of integration in the individual countries. An efficient distribution would even out the marginal costs of integrating refugees. In order to reach a political agreement, the key for distributing refugees should be complemented by compensation payments that distribute the costs of integration among countries. The key for distributing refugees presented by the EU Commission takes account of appropriate factors in principle, but it is unclear in terms of detail. The compensation payments for countries that should take relatively high numbers of refugees for cost efficiency reasons should be financed by reallocating resources within the EU budget.
11.08.2016 • 34/2016
2016 stress tests: Italian banks don’t look worse than German large commercial banks
The European Banking Authority today presented the results of the 2016 stress tests. They show that most European banks appear more or less stable. “What worries me is, however, that the Italian banks do not look worse than the large German commercial banks,” says Reint E. Gropp, president of the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH). “It appears that both Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank would benefit significantly from an increase in equity. The stress test was also missing two crucial points: One, the effect of a long lasting low interest rate environment on banks was not simulated. And second, the test did not take into consideration that many small institutions could fail at the same time. This is not an unlikely scenario, given how small banks in particular struggle with shrinking interest margins,“ says Gropp. Finally, the stress test should not distract from the urgency to solve the problems in the Italian banking system.
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A Market-based Indicator of Currency Risk: Evidence from American Depositary Receipts
IWH Discussion Papers,
We introduce a novel currency risk measure based on American Depositary Receipts(ADRs). Using a multifactor pricing model, we exploit ADR investors’ exposure to potential devaluation losses to derive an indicator of currency risk. Using weekly data for a sample of 831 ADRs located in 23 emerging markets over the 1994-2014 period, we find that a deterioration in the fiscal and current account balance, as well as higher inflation, increases currency risk. Interaction models reveal that these macroeconomic fundamentals drive currency risk, particularly in countries with managed exchange rates, low levels of foreign exchange reserves and a poor sovereign credit rating.
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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10.08.2015 • 30/2015
Germany Benefited Substantially from the Greek Crisis
The balanced budget in Germany is largely the result of lower interest payments due to the European debt crisis. Research from the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) – Member of the Leibniz Association shows that the debt crisis resulted in a reduction in German bund rates of about 300 basis points (BP), yielding interest savings of more than EUR 100 billion (or more than 3% of gross domestic product, GDP) during the period 2010 to 2015. A significant part of this reduction is directly attributable to the Greek crisis. When discussing the costs to the German tax payer of saving Greece, these benefits should not be overlooked, as they tend to be larger than the expenses, even in a scenario where Greece does not repay any of its debts.
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On the Twin Deficits Hypothesis and the Import Intensity in Transition Countries
International Economics and Economic Policy,
This article aims to explain the increasing deficits in the trade and current account balances of three post-transition countries–Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland–by testing two hypotheses: the twin deficit hypothesis and increasing import intensity of export production. The method uses co-integration and related techniques to test for a long-run causal relationship between the fiscal and external deficits of three post-transition countries in Central and Eastern Europe. In addition, an import intensity model is tested by applying OLS and GMM. All the results reject the Twin Deficits Hypothesis. Instead, the results demonstrate that specific transition factors such as net capital flows and, probably, a high import intensity of exports affect the trade balance.
The Euro Plus Pact: Competitiveness and External Capital Flows in the EU Countries
Journal of Common Market Studies,
The Euro Plus Pact was approved by the European Union countries in March 2011. The pact stipulates various measures to strengthen competitiveness with the ultimate aim of preventing accumulation of unsustainable external imbalances. This article uses Granger causality tests to assess the short-term linkages between changes in relative unit labour costs and changes in the current account balance for the period 1995–2011. The main finding is that changes in the current account balance precede changes in relative unit labour costs, while there is no discernible effect in the opposite direction. This suggests that capital flows from the European core to the periphery contributed to the divergence in unit labour costs across Europe prior to the global financial crisis. The results also suggest that the measures to restrain unit labour costs may have only limited effect on the current account balance in the short term.