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
11.04.2017 • 18/2017
The state as a pioneering customer: How public demand can drive private innovation
Especially in technology-intensive industries, demand from the state can expand private markets and create incentives for privately funded research and development, a new study by the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) – Member of the Leibniz Association shows.
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
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
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.
The Macroeconomic Risks of Undesirably Low Inflation
European Economic Review,
This paper investigates the macroeconomic risks associated with undesirably low inflation using a medium-sized New Keynesian model. We consider different causes of persistently low inflation, including a downward shift in long-run inflation expectations, a fall in nominal wage growth, and a favorable supply-side shock. We show that the macroeconomic effects of persistently low inflation depend crucially on its underlying cause, as well as on the extent to which monetary policy is constrained by the zero lower bound. Finally, we discuss policy options to mitigate these effects.
Unemployment and Business Cycles
We develop and estimate a general equilibrium search and matching model that accounts for key business cycle properties of macroeconomic aggregates, including labor market variables. In sharp contrast to leading New Keynesian models, we do not impose wage inertia. Instead we derive wage inertia from our specification of how firms and workers negotiate wages. Our model outperforms a variant of the standard New Keynesian Calvo sticky wage model. According to our estimated model, there is a critical interaction between the degree of price stickiness, monetary policy, and the duration of an increase in unemployment benefits.