12.04.2017 • 19/2017
Joint Economic Forecast Spring 2017: Upturn in Germany strengthens in spite of global economic risks
The German economy is already in the fifth year of a moderate upturn. According to the Gemeinschaftsdiagnose (GD, joint economic forecast) that was prepared by Germany’s five leading economic research institutes on behalf of the Federal Government, capacity utilization is gradually increasing, and aggregate production capacities are now likely to have slightly exceeded their normal utilisation levels. However, cyclical dynamics remain low compared to earlier periods of recoveries, as consumption expenditures, which do not exhibit strong fluctuations, have been the main driving force so far. In addition, net migration increases potential output, counteracting a stronger capacity tightening. “Gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to expand by 1.5% (1.8% adjusted for calendar effects) and 1.8% in the next year. Unemployment is expected to fall to 6.1% in 2016, to 5.7% in 2017 and 5.4% in 2018”, says Oliver Holtemöller, Head of the Department Macroeconomics and vice president of the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) – Member of the Leibniz Association. Inflation is expected to increase markedly over the forecast horizon. After an increase in consumer prices of only 0.5% in 2016, the inflation rate is expected to rise to 1.8% in 2017 and 1.7% in 2018. The public budget surplus will reduce only modestly. Public finances are slightly stimulating economic activity in the current year and are cyclically neutral in the year ahead.
Read press release
15.03.2017 • 13/2017
The German Economy: Employment Boom in Germany, but no Overheating of the Economy
Employment in Germany continues to increase healthily, and private consumption expands due to rising real incomes. Investment in equipment, however, remains modest. Overall, economic demand is expanding at roughly the growth rate of potential Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and the output gap is nearly closed. “In 2017, GDP will increase by 1.3% and thus at a lower rate than in the previous year, but this is only due to fewer working days and not to sliding demand,” says Oliver Holtemoeller, Head of the Department Macroeconomics and IWH vice president.
Read press release
Uncertainty, Financial Crises, and Subjective Well-being
IWH Discussion Papers,
This paper focuses on the effect of uncertainty as reflected by financial market variables on subjective well-being. The analysis is based on Eurobarometer surveys, covering 20 countries over the period from 2000 to 2013. Individuals report lower levels of life satisfaction in times of higher uncertainty approximated by stock market volatility. This effect is heterogeneous across respondents: The probability of being unsatisfied is higher for respondents who are older, less educated, and live in one of the GIIPS countries of the euro area. Furthermore, higher uncertainty in combination with a financial crisis increases the probability of reporting low values of life satisfaction.
Complexity and Bank Risk During the Financial Crisis
We construct a novel dataset to measure banks’ complexity and relate it to banks’ riskiness. The sample covers stock listed Euro area banks from 2007 to 2014. Bank stability is significantly affected by complexity, whereas the direction of the effect differs across complexity measures.
Sovereign Credit Risk Co-movements in the Eurozone: Simple Interdependence or Contagion?
We investigate credit risk co-movements and contagion in the sovereign debt markets of 17 industrialized countries during the period 2008–2012. We use dynamic conditional correlations of sovereign credit default swap spreads to detect contagion. This approach allows us to separate contagion channels from the determinants of simple interdependence. The results show that, first, sovereign credit risk co-moves considerably, particularly among eurozone countries and during the sovereign debt crisis. Second, contagion varies across time and countries. Third, similarities in economic fundamentals, cross-country linkages in banking and common market sentiment constitute the main channels of contagion.
14.12.2016 • 50/2016
The German Economy: Economic Activity Spurred by Private Consumption and Construction
German economic activity remains robust due to strong domestic demand. IWH forecasts gross domestic product (GDP) to increase by 1.3% in 2017. The growth rate is half a percentage point lower than in 2016 due to calendar effects and a negative contribution of external trade. Consumer price inflation also remains modest (1.3%). “Unemployment is expected to increase slightly due to a protracted integration of refugees into the labor market”, says Oliver Holtemöller, Head of the Department Macroeconomics and IWH vice president
Read press release
National Politics and Bank Default Risk in the Eurozone
Journal of Financial Stability,
We study the impact of national politics on default risk of eurozone banks as measured by the stock market-based Distance to Default. We find that national electoral cycles, the power of the government as well as the government’s party ideological alignment significantly affect the stability of banks in the eurozone member countries. Moreover, we show that the impact of national politics on bank default risk is more pronounced for large as well as weakly capitalized banks.