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Politics and elections

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1 09.08.2017 Articles: European Policy Research
German election: stability-led complacency
Abstract: The German election will take place on September 24. Polls indicate a fourth term for Chancellor Merkel but it remains to be seen with which coalition she will govern. The booming economy has fostered cross-party complacency and prevented the necessary debate about how to ensure Germany’s future prosperity.
Topics: Economic policy; European policy issues; Germany; Politics and elections
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2 08.08.2017 Germany Monitor
German defence policy: Towards a more integrated security framework
Abstract: Defence policy and defence expenditures have moved into the light of public attention ahead of September parliamentary elections, fuelled by US criticism of Europe’s NATO spending, the experience of the refugee crisis but also regained momentum for European integration. While NATO membership and EU defence integration is supported by the German public, a majority rejects an increase in the military budget. To reach NATO’s 2% of GDP target by 2024, defence expenditures would have to more than double within seven years. Mainstream parties agree that a more holistic security framework is required but they are divided on the details, in particular when it comes to the question on how much to spend for it.
Topics: Economic policy; European issues; European policy issues; Germany; Other sectors; Politics and elections; Sectors / commodities
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3 03.08.2017 Germany Monitor
Packed European agenda for the next government: Numerous challenges, no (easy) answers
Abstract: The benign economic and public environment allows to fundamentally address shortcomings of the E(M)U. The next German government’s term is faced with numerous challenges ranging from Brexit and its impact on the next EU Budget to migration and the upgrade of the euro area. A revitalised relation with France provides the opportunity for substantive steps to further stabilise the euro area albeit Germany and France need to find common ground on many issues and seek the support of EU partners. European politics is still less of a topic for the German electorate not least as mainstream parties are all various shades of pro-European. However, the next government’s party composition is likely to matter for both speed and scope of changes on European level.
Topics: Brexit; Economic policy; EMU; European issues; European policy issues; Macroeconomics; Migration; Politics and elections
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4 20.07.2017 Germany Monitor
Germany’s fiscal situation: Full employment and zero interest rates result in budget surpluses – but demographic development might become a problem!
Abstract: In an international comparison, Germany’s fiscal situation is very good – thanks to robust GDP growth and zero interest rates. In the short to medium term, dynamic revenue growth should help to ensure that Germany’s fiscal situation remains comfortable, even though expenses look set to rise strongly as well. Public finances are currently benefiting from buoyant growth, low interest rates and a “demographic respite”. Rising interest rates and the ageing society look set to put the public finances under considerable pressure from the middle of the coming decade. However, the long-term fiscal risks do not appear to play a major role in the current election campaign.
Topics: Demographics; Economic policy; Fiscal policy; Macroeconomics; Politics and elections; Real econ. trends
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5 18.07.2017 Deutschland-Monitor
Parteien schreiben Zukunftsvorsorge zu klein
Abstract: Die sozialpolitische Debatte in Deutschland ist erscheint paradox. Trotz steigender Sozialausgaben konstatieren manche Kritiker eine soziale Schieflage. Aber der Sozialschutz wirkt weithin, während die Sozialsystem profitieren von der guten Konjunktur. Auch für die Zukunft scheint eine weitere Expansion des Sozialstaates angelegt, wenn man an die demografische Entwicklung denkt und zugleich die Vorschläge der Parteien im Wahlkampf betrachtet. Zukunftsvorsorge der Sozialsysteme spielt nur die zweite Geige, obwohl den Steuer- und Beitragszahlern schon jetzt vermeidbare Belastungen aufgebürdet werden.
Topics: Demographics; Economic policy; Germany; Macroeconomics; Politics and elections; Provision for old age; Social policy
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6 18.07.2017 Germany Monitor
Parties not focusing enough on sustainability
Abstract: The debate over welfare policy in Germany appears to be paradoxical. Albeit steadily rising social spending, some critics believe that there is a social imbalance. But social security continues to have a positive impact while the welfare system is benefiting from the positive economic development. A further expansion of the welfare state is in the cards given not only the demographic trend but also the parties’ proposals in the current election campaigns. Sustainability of the welfare system is playing second fiddle only despite the fact that already taxpayers are burdened with avoidable costs.
Topics: Demographics; Economic policy; Germany; Macroeconomics; Politics and elections; Provision for old age; Social policy
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7 12.07.2017 Germany Monitor
Slowing German trend growth does not seem to be a major issue in the electoral campaign
Abstract: The developed industrial countries have experienced a steady decline in trend growth since the mid-70s – and Germany is no exception. The robust cyclical upswing is veiling this creeping erosion of growth. The demographic developments will considerably weigh on trend growth in the medium and the longer term. They will dampen labour supply, capital formation and total factor productivity. By 2025, trend growth looks set to halve again, to only ¾%. The electoral programmes of the established parties incorporate different positions on this key issue, as is to be expected.
Topics: Demographics; Economic growth; Education; Labour market; Macroeconomics; Politics and elections; Real econ. trends
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8 10.07.2017 Deutschland-Monitor
Deutsche Staatsfinanzen: Überschüsse dank Vollbeschäftigung und Nullzins, aber Demografie droht!
Abstract: Die deutschen Staatsfinanzen stehen derzeit im internationalen Vergleich sehr gut da, dank starker Konjunktur und Nullzinsen. Die günstige Entwicklung der deutschen Staatsfinanzen dürfte kurz- bis mittelfristig aufgrund dynamisch wachsender Staatseinnahmen – und trotz hohem Ausgabenwachstum – andauern. Die Staatsfinanzen profitieren derzeit sehr stark von einer brummenden Wirtschaft, Niedrigzinsen und einer „demografischen Atempause“. Steigende Zinsen und eine alternde Gesellschaft dürften die öffentlichen Finanzen ab Mitte der nächsten Dekade erheblich unter Druck setzen. Doch die langfristigen Risiken für die Staatsfinanzen scheinen im aktuellen Bundestagswahlkampf keine größere Rolle zu spielen.
Topics: Demographics; Economic policy; Fiscal policy; Macroeconomics; Politics and elections; Real econ. trends
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9 03.07.2017 Deutschland-Monitor
Sinkendes deutsches Trendwachstum zu wenig im Fokus der Parteien
Abstract: In vielen entwickelten Industrienationen hat sich das Trendwachstum seit Mitte der 70er Jahre deutlich abgeschwächt – so auch in Deutschland. Gegenwärtig überstahlt die dynamische Konjunktur diese schleichende Wachstumsschwäche. In diesem Zusammenhang ist der demografische Wandel für die deutsche Volkswirtschaft von besonderer Bedeutung. Er wird die Entwicklung des Erwerbspersonenpotentials, des Kapitalstocks und des technischen Wissens dämpfen. Bis 2025 dürfte sich das deutsche Trendwachstum somit nochmals halbieren auf dann nur noch 3/4 %. Daher sind die politischen Entscheidungsträger mehr denn je gefordert, dieser tiefgreifenden Entwicklung Rechnung zu tragen. Die Wahlprogramme und das bisherige Handeln der etablierten Parteien zeigen zu diesem zentralen Thema erwartungsgemäß unterschiedliche Positionen.
Topics: Demographics; Economic growth; Education; Labour market; Macroeconomics; Politics and elections; Real econ. trends
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10 06.06.2017 Current Issues
Focus Germany: Strong economy supports Merkel’s re-election chances
Abstract: After Q1’s sturdy 0.6% qoq GDP growth, soft indicators do not signal any moderation of the growth momentum. Employment in 2017 so far, has been expanding at similar clip as in 2016, making our 1% consumption forecast for 2017 quite conservative. Exports have rebounded in the winter half – in line with global trade. The growth momentum of global trade seems to have peaked; therefore, we remain cautious, predicting 3.6% German export growth in 2017 after 2.7% last year. In combination with lingering geo-political uncertainty this will weigh on investment spending, where a utilization rate of 2pp above its long-term average suggests a still limited necessity to invest. Following Q1 GDP growth of 0.6% we have revised our 2017 GDP forecast to 1.3% (1.1%). Latest confidence surveys, however, hint at further upside potential and increasing risks of over-heating for 2018. Political observers in Germany have recently been focusing on the SPD’s ups and downs in the polls and the CDU’s reverse showing while smaller parties are fighting for public attention. From the present point of view (polls) a Jamaica coalition is the sole arithmetically feasible alternative to a renewed grand coalition after the September election. (Further topics: German industrial output – forecast for 2017; Corporate funding in Q1 – lending)
Topics: Auto industry; Banking; Business cycle; Economic growth; Economic policy; European issues; Exchange rates; Germany; Global financial markets; International capital markets; Macroeconomics; Politics and elections; Prices, inflation; Sectors / commodities; Trade
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