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Politics and elections

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1 22.05.2017 Articles: European Policy Research
NRW election positive for Merkel
Topics: Politics and elections
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2 05.05.2017 Current Issues
Focus Germany: Positive signs
Abstract: Growth in global trade almost stagnated at just 1.3% in 2016, and in some months was even negative. During winter, global trade picked up again, rising by around 3% compared to the same period a year earlier. Given the positive sentiment prevailing across the globe, this rebound could well continue. However, this trend is not yet being fully reflected in other hard economic indicators, usually highly correlated with global trade, and sentiment may therefore overstate the actual trend a little. Still, our simple model of world trade, which suggests moderate growth of just over 2% in 2017 and around 3% in 2018 might represent the lower limit of the forecast range. However, compared to previous cycles the upturn could remain weak, not least because of the global trade restrictions that have been progressively ratcheted up since 2008. (Further articles: Germany’s employment miracle, German election campaign not in full swing, yet)
Topics: Business cycle; Economic growth; Economic policy; Exchange rates; Germany; Labour market; Macroeconomics; Politics and elections; Prices, inflation; Real econ. trends; Sectors / commodities; Trade
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3 07.04.2017 Aktuelle Themen
Ausblick Deutschland: Öffentliche Investitionen und Wohnungsbau ziehen an
Abstract: Öffentliche Investitionen: Mehr in der Pipeline. In der internationalen Debatte werden öffentliche Investitionen vielfach als nützlicher Hebel für eine höhere Binnennachfrage gesehen. Trotz internationaler Kritik und politischer Willensbekundung sind die öffentlichen Investitionen in Deutschland in den letzten zwei Jahren nur moderat gestiegen. In den kommenden Jahren dürften die öffentlichen Investitionen jedoch spürbar zulegen.
Topics: Brexit; Business cycle; Economic growth; Economic policy; European issues; Germany; Globalisation; Labour market; Macroeconomics; Monetary policy; Politics and elections; Prices, inflation; Real estate; Sectors / commodities; Socio-econ. trends; Trade
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4 06.04.2017 Current Issues
Focus Germany: Investment: Public, residential – gradually picking up
Abstract: In international debate public investment is often regarded as a useful lever for promoting higher domestic demand. Despite international criticism and political declarations of intent, public investment in Germany has only increased moderately over the past two years and has remained average, at best, on an international scale. In the coming years, however, public investment is expected to grow significantly. The current investment plans for the federal budget are 40% higher than those adopted in 2013. Public contracts for the construction industry in 2016 were between 15 and 27% above the average of the previous 10 years. The excellent state of the public finances at the various government levels also supports the prospect of increasing investment growth. However, severe capacity shortages in the construction industry are likely to mean that the high demand for investment will not quickly lead to an increase in construction activity. (Further articles: German housing market, Corporate bond boom in Germany, Result of the Saarland election)
Topics: Brexit; Business cycle; Economic growth; Economic policy; European issues; Exchange rates; Germany; Globalisation; Labour market; Macroeconomics; Monetary policy; Politics and elections; Prices, inflation; Real estate; Sectors / commodities; Trade
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5 23.03.2017 EU Monitor (Engl.)
Who is afraid of populists?
Abstract: With developments in the UK and the US, populism was a key theme in 2016. But does the perception of 2016 as “the year of the populists” really fit for Europe? A closer look suggests that while populism was an omnipresent theme in public discourse, support for populist parties in polls rather remained stable and elections did not translate into outright populist wins. The rise of populist parties has however been a multi-year trend. Populists can affect national politics in various ways. One possible effect is that forming a government (coalition) often gets more complicated and time-consuming and results in more fragile governments. Another is populists’ potential impact on policy discussions’ style and content. Pursuing policies with long-term benefits but which are often not instantly popular becomes more difficult ‒ both at the national and the European level.
Topics: Brexit; Economic policy; European integration; European issues; European policy issues; Politics and elections
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6 16.03.2017 Talking Point
Unemployment benefit Q and the elusive quest for social justice
Abstract: Time to enhance (social) justice is the election campaign slogan of the SPD and its leadership candidate, Martin Schulz. To bring this slogan to life the chancellor candidate and the Federal Minister for Labour, Andrea Nahles, recently presented plans for specific labour market policy measures. The duo is proposing that the existing unemployment benefit be extended to include an additional component and that the eligibility criteria be relaxed. The idea of the new benefit Q (for qualification) is to grant registered recipients the right to participate in qualification programmes. It could double the benefit period – for younger jobseekers from one to two years and for those aged 58 and above from two to four years.
Topics: Labour market policy; Politics and elections; Social policy
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7 10.03.2017 Aktueller Kommentar
Arbeitslosengeld Q und die Krux mit der Gerechtigkeit
Abstract: „Zeit für mehr Gerechtigkeit“ heißt das Schlagwort, mit dem die SPD und ihr Spitzenkandidat Martin Schulz in den Wahlkampf ziehen. Für die Arbeitsmarktpolitik präsentierten der Kanzlerkandidat und Bundesarbeitsministerin Nahles kürzlich erste konkrete Pläne dazu. Sie wollen das Arbeitslosengeld I um eine neue Komponente erweitern sowie den Zugang zu den Lohnersatzleistungen erleichtern. Mit dem neuen Arbeitslosengeld Q sollen Bezieher/innen von Arbeitslosengeld I einen Rechtsanspruch auf Qualifizierung erhalten. Damit kann sich für jüngere Berechtigte die Bezugsdauer um bis zu 12 Monate und für ältere ab 58 sogar um 24 Monate auf zwei bzw. sogar vier Jahre verdoppeln. Um das Arbeitslosengeld für Personen mit unstetiger Erwerbstätigkeit besser zugänglich zu machen, soll zudem die so genannte Rahmenfrist verlängert werden. Unter 50-jährige Antragsteller, zum Beispiel, könnten demzufolge die erforderliche Mindestbeitragszeit von (in ihrem Fall) 12 Monaten innerhalb von drei statt bislang zwei Jahren vor Antragstellung erwerben.
Topics: Labour market policy; Politics and elections; Social policy
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8 09.03.2017 Current Issues
Focus Germany: Growth and inflation leave ECB still unfazed
Abstract: At face value the pick-up of GDP growth at the end of 2016 (Q4: +0.4% qoq vs. +0.1% prev.) seems to fit with improving sentiment. However, given its composition we would argue that underlying growth was weaker than the headline suggests. We stick to our below consensus GDP forecast for 2017 (1.1%) and only make cosmetic changes in the details. We are raising our inflation forecast slightly overall for 2017, from 1.6% to 1.7%, compared with only 0.5% in 2016. We still expect core inflation to be only slightly above 1% in 2017. If the signs of global price increases are confirmed, then we could in fact see a more pronounced increase in core inflation, particularly if rising prices translate into second-round effects when wage negotiations are conducted in 2018. (Further articles: German industry, German election campaign)
Topics: Brexit; Business cycle; Economic growth; Economic policy; European issues; Exchange rates; Germany; Globalisation; Labour market; Macroeconomics; Monetary policy; Politics and elections; Prices, inflation; Sectors / commodities; Trade
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9 30.01.2017 Current Issues
Focus Germany: New SPD frontrunner unlikely to defeat Merkel
Abstract: 2016 GDP growth picked up further relative to the previous two years (1.9% vs. 1.7%). Growth was strongly tilted towards consumption thanks to several tailwinds (refugee crisis, low inflation, labour market strength), while slowing exports weighed on private equipment investment: With several tailwinds fading and a strong workday effect weighing, GDP growth looks set to slow to 1.1% in 2017. Recent sentiment indicators herald some upside risks for the current quarter. However, the 2.3 point drop in the expectations component of the January ifo index seems to corroborate our more cautious stance. In an unexpected turn, SPD party leader Gabriel announced that he would not run against Angela Merkel. Instead Martin Schulz, the former president of the European Parliament, will be the party’s frontrunner. Mr. Schulz’s unexpected nomination is likely to push the SPD’s campaign for the federal election on September 24 but unlikely to derail Merkel.
Topics: Business cycle; European issues; European policy issues; Germany; Globalisation; Intern. relations; Macroeconomics; Politics and elections; Prices, inflation
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10 25.01.2017 Germany Monitor
Uncertainty is slowing capital expenditure
Abstract: In view of the pronounced economic and (geo)political uncertainties and the weak starting level, (private-sector) equipment investment in Germany is likely to decrease in 2017 despite a respectable level of capacity utilisation. The interplay of multiple factors is currently causing a high level of uncertainty: the potentially serious impact on Germany in the event of the uncertainties materialising, the continued high number of simultaneous uncertainties, the complexity of many capital expenditure decisions and the lack of confidence in politicians (and/or their ability to come up with solutions). We will present several uncertainty indicators based on news, surveys and financial markets data that provide a way of quantifying the uncertainty.
Topics: Brexit; Demographics; Digitalisation; Economic policy; Energy policy; European issues; Germany; Global financial markets; Globalisation; Intern. relations; International capital markets; Labour market; Macroeconomics; Politics and elections; Provision for old age; Sectors / commodities; Sustainability; Trade
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