15.03.2018 • 3/2018
Consistently strong economy, but risks are increasing
The global upswing continues in 2018. The German economy is cur-rently in a boom and is increasingly coming up against capacity limits. “According to our forecast, gross domestic product will expand by 2.2% in 2018; the general government surplus will amount to 1.1% in relation to gross domestic product. Economic growth in East Germany is likely to be slightly below the German growth rate”, says Oliver Holtemöller, head of the Department Macroeconomics and IWH vice president.
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Bottom-up or Direct? Forecasting German GDP in a Data-rich Environment
In this paper, we investigate whether there are benefits in disaggregating GDP into its components when nowcasting GDP. To answer this question, we conduct a realistic out-of-sample experiment that deals with the most prominent problems in short-term forecasting: mixed frequencies, ragged-edge data, asynchronous data releases and a large set of potential information. We compare a direct leading indicator-based GDP forecast with two bottom-up procedures—that is, forecasting GDP components from the production side or from the demand side. Generally, we find that the direct forecast performs relatively well. Among the disaggregated procedures, the production side seems to be better suited than the demand side to form a disaggregated GDP nowcast.
“The Good News about Bad News”: Feedback about Past Organisational Failure and its Impact on Worker Productivity
IWH Discussion Papers,
Failure in organisations is a very common phenomenon. Little is known about whether past failure affects workers’ subsequent performance. We conduct a field experiment in which we follow up a failed mail campaign to attract new volunteers with a phone campaign pursuing the same goal. We recruit temporary workers to carry out the phone campaign and randomly assign them to either receive or not receive information about the previous failure and measure their performance. We find that informed workers perform better – in terms of both numbers dialed (about 14% improvement) and completed interviews (about 20% improvement) – regardless of whether they had previously worked on the failed mail campaign. Evidence from a second experiment with student volunteers asked to support a campaign to reduce food waste suggests that the mechanism behind our finding relates to contextual inference: Informing workers/volunteers that they are pursuing a goal that is hard to attain seems to add meaning to the work involved, leading them to exert more effort.
Predicting Earnings and Cash Flows: The Information Content of Losses and Tax Loss Carryforwards
IWH Discussion Papers,
We analyse the relevance of losses, accounting information on tax loss carryforwards, and deferred taxes for the prediction of earnings and cash flows up to four years ahead. We use a unique hand-collected panel of German listed firms encompassing detailed information on tax loss carryforwards and deferred taxes from the tax footnote. Our out-of-sample predictions show that considering accounting information on tax loss carryforwards and deferred taxes does not enhance the accuracy of performance forecasts and can even worsen performance predictions. We find that common forecasting approaches that treat positive and negative performances equally or that use a dummy variable for negative performance can lead to biased performance forecasts, and we provide a simple empirical specification to account for that issue.
Konjunktur aktuell: Aufschwung in Deutschland und in der Welt
Zur Jahreswende ist die deutsche Konjunktur nach wie vor kräftig. Das Bruttoinlandsprodukt dürfte im Jahr 2017 um 2,2% zunehmen, und weil in diesem Jahr deutlich weniger Arbeitstage anfallen als zuvor, beträgt die Zuwachsrate kalenderbereinigt sogar 2,5%. Der Aufschwung ist breit aufgestellt. Schon länger treibt die deutliche Zunahme der Beschäftigung die privaten Einkommen, den Konsum und den Wohnungsbau, der außerdem von den sehr nied-rigen Zinsen Rückenwind erhält. Zudem profitieren die deutschen Exporte zurzeit von der schwungvollen internationalen Konjunktur. Auch weil die Geldpolitik im Euroraum vorerst expansiv bleibt, ist damit zu rechnen, dass sich der Aufschwung im Jahr 2018 fortsetzt; die Produktion dürfte dann erneut um 2,2% zunehmen (auch kalenderbereinigt). Die Verbraucherpreisinflation ist in den Jahren 2017 und 2018 mit 1,7% moderat. Zwar nimmt der binnenwirtschaftliche Preisdruck zu, aber die die Effekte des Energiepreisanstiegs vom Jahr 2017 laufen im Jahr 2018 aus, und die Aufwertung des Euro im Sommer 2017 wirkt preissenkend. Die schon gegenwärtig niedrige Arbeitslosenquote geht im kommenden Jahr weiter zurück. Der Finanzierungssaldo des Staates fällt im Jahr 2018 mit 1,3% in Relation zum Bruttoinlandsprodukt fast so hoch wie im Vorjahr aus, wenn man keine neuen finanzpolitischen Maßnahmen unterstellt. Die ostdeutsche Wirtschaft dürfte in den Jahren 2017 und 2018 mit 2,1% bzw. 2,0% etwas langsamer expandieren als die gesamtdeutsche. Weil das Verarbeitende Gewerbe in Ostdeutschland nicht so exportorientiert ist wie das im Westen, profitiert es auch nicht ganz so stark von der gegenwärtig sehr kräftigen internationalen Konjunktur.
14.12.2017 • 39/2017
Cyclical upswing in Germany and in the world
At the turn of the year, the cyclical upswing in Germany continues. Gross domestic product is expected to increase by 2.2% in 2017, and because this year has seen significantly fewer working days than before, the rate of change amounts, adjusted for calendar effects, to even 2.5%. “The upswing is broad-based”, says Oliver Holtemöller, head of the Department Macroeconomics and IWH vice president. “For quite a long time now, significant increases in employment have been driving private incomes, consumption and housing construction. The latter was, in addition, stimulated by low interest rates.” Currently, German exports are benefiting from the vivid international economy. Not least since monetary policy in the euro area remains expansionary for the time being, we expect the upturn to continue in 2018 and production to increase again by 2.2%. Consumer price inflation is, with 1.7%, still moderate in both 2017 and 2018. Although domestic price pressures are on the rise, the effects of the energy price increase in 2017 expire in 2018, and the appreciation of the euro in the summer of 2017 will dampen price dynamics.
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28.09.2017 • 35/2017
Joint Economic Forecast—Autumn 2017: Upturn Remains Robust—Amid Mounting Tensions
The German economic upturn has gained both in terms of strength and breadth. In addition to consumer spending, external trade and investments are now also contributing to economic expansion. These are the conclusions drawn by the economic research institutes in their autumn report for the German federal government. Whereas the very high economic momentum in the first half of the current year will slow slightly, expansion of economic output this year and next will exceed production capacity growth. As a result, overall capacity utilization will increase, with economic output exceeding potential output. Gross Domestic Product is likely to grow by 1.9 percent this year and by 2 percent in 2018 (calendar-adjusted: 2.2 and 2.1 percent, respectively).
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07.09.2017 • 32/2017
The German economy: Growing strongly
In the summer of 2017, the upswing in Germany continues. „For this year, we forecast gross domestic product to expand by 1.9%, as it did in 2016, and for 2018 by 2.0%” says Oliver Holtemöller, head of the Department Macroeconomics and IWH vice president.
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