this box or continue browsing, we will assume that you are happy with this. For more information
about the cookies we use or to find out how you can disable cookies, see our Cookies
Besides transport and energy infrastructure, communications infrastructure is steadily gaining in importance in the regional competition to attract investment. One source of concern in particular though is the significant gulf in investment both between west German and east German federal states as well as between urban and rural regions. This is compounded by the problem that there is usually no viable business model for projects in rural areas without government subsidies. As there is no such thing as a standard blueprint for the broadband rollout with its huge investment requirements, every single project with its specific local features needs to undergo a critical economic feasibility analysis. On this basis, efforts should be taken to work out the best rollout model in terms of technology, funding and time horizon, respectively. In essence, the broadband rollout in Germany requires more government stimuli to foster private investment, but these efforts need to be coordinated and based on sound judgement.
Following the disappointing performance of German industry in Q2 2014, we have revised our production forecast for the year 2014 from +4% to +2.5%. Despite the current geopolitical risks we see no general change in the trend but rather a temporary dip. In the chemicals industry, mechanical engineering and the metal industry we have corrected our forecast downwards – in some cases markedly.
People say that life is easier for optimists. However, this has not held true for forecasters of German economic growth for quite a while now. The good start into the year (Q1: +0.8 qoq) and the upbeat business and consumer sentiment back then had induced us in June to boost our full-year forecast from 1.5% to 1.8%. Nonetheless, we didn't relinquish our place at the lower end of the consensus, which in the meantime had climbed to 2%. If only we had kept our mouths shut!
Economic growth probably suffered a worse setback in Q2 than initially presumed. We only expect stagnation now, but would no longer rule out a minimal decline. All in all, global economic conditions do not point to dynamic growth in H2. In particular, the tougher sanctions on Russia and the risk of further escalation of the conflict are set to weigh on business sentiment and investment activity in spite of Russia's low share in German exports. The debate triggered by ECB and Bundesbank comments about higher wage increases in Germany is likely to have a similar impact, even though the substance of the statements is less spectacular, on closer inspection, than the media hype. As uncertainties abound we have decided to refrain for now from making a downward revision to our full-year forecast of 1.8% GDP growth.
Germany has become the No. 1 destination country for migrants in Europe again and No. 2 in the whole OECD after the United States. The turnaround reflects the crisis in the EMU periphery as well as the (postponed) opening of the German labour market to citizens from the 10 Central and Eastern European countries that joined the EU in 2004 and 2007. The higher immigration should only temporarily obscure the negative effects from the introduction of a minimum wage and the retirement wave triggered by the "pension at 63" option. Given the economic recovery in the eurozone periphery the present migration surge is unlikely to last and ageing Germany’s demand for labour from outside the EU will increase. Therefore, Germany needs to shape up to encourage more pull-based immigration. This requires a skills-oriented migration policy as well as more flexibility in the labour market and at the company level.
Germany should enjoy the strongest growth among EMU countries, courtesy of a healthy domestic economy. Despite too-low interest rates and a tight labour market, there are no signs of imbalances building up, except maybe residential property markets in some urban centres.
For a long time, technological progress in the world of media has surpassed the improved image display via screen diagonal or contrast by far. This is not only shown by the gadgets which the TV viewer may use for his or her personal analysis of the games of the FIFA Football World Cup. This opens completely new opportunities and business models for the large field of visual media. More and more, media use is currently understood as a location-, time- and device-independent option with the possibility of personalisation and interaction. Thus, television viewers, who were previously condemned to passivity, now have the option to compose their own programmes and watch at times convenient to them.
After a good start into 2014, manufacturing output in Germany looks set to grow by 4% in real terms in the full year. Even though business expectations have recently weakened somewhat, they remain in positive territory. Despite the good labour market situation in Germany inflation has decelerated noticeably. The outlook of a recovering global economy, a sliding euro and the introduction of a nation-wide minimum wage in Germany lead us to forecast that inflation is bottoming out. After hitting 1.1% in the current year it could pick up to 1.6% in 2015.