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European issues

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1 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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2 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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3 08.03.2017 Aktuelle Themen
Ausblick Deutschland: Wachstum und Inflation dürften EZB noch kalt lassen
Abstract: Auf den ersten Blick scheint das anziehende BIP-Wachstum zum Jahresende 2016 (Q4: +0,4% gg. Vq.; zuvor: +0,1%) konsistent mit den angestiegenen Konjunkturindikatoren. Allerdings zeigt die Zusammensetzung des BIP-Wachstums eine eher schwächere zugrundeliegende Dynamik. Wir behalten deshalb unsere unter dem Konsens liegende BIP-Prognose von 1,1% für das Jahr 2017 bei. Unsere Inflationsprognose für 2017 heben wir insgesamt minimal an auf 1,7% von 1,6% nach nur 0,5% in 2016. Dabei erwarten wir die Kerninflation in 2017 weiter bei gut 1%. Sollten sich die Anzeichen für den globalen Preisauftrieb bestätigen, könnte die Kerninflation aber deutlicher zulegen, insbesondere wenn in 2018 anziehende Preise Zweitrundeneffekte bei den Lohnverhandlungen nach sich ziehen sollten. Wir erwarten weiterhin, dass die EZB erst im September Aussagen zum „Tapering“ treffen wird, die dann ab Januar 2018 umgesetzt werden. Von der Pressekonferenz erwarten wir Hinweise in Richtung eines langsamen und graduellen Übergangs zu einer weniger expansiven Geldpolitik.
Topics: Brexit; Business cycle; Economic growth; European issues; Exchange rates; Germany; Globalisation; Labour market; Macroeconomics; Monetary policy; Prices, inflation; Sectors / commodities; Trade
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4 22.02.2017 Articles: Macroeconomics
ECB unimpressed by the rise in inflation – for now
Abstract: The headline inflation rates, which have increased substantially in recent months, have rekindled the debate surrounding the ECB's bond-buying programme. German producer prices have also risen sharply in recent times. In December 2016, the prices of metal (up by 5% on December 2015) and energy (up by 10%) increased particularly sharply. Nevertheless, the remaining inputs (weighting: 83.6%) continued to show no inflationary pressure at all.
Topics: European issues; Germany; Macroeconomics
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5 21.02.2017 EU Monitor (Engl.)
Synthetic securitisation: Making a silent comeback
Abstract: Securitisation markets have returned to policymakers’ attention recently, only this time as a hoped-for panacea to anaemic lending in Europe rather than a culprit for the financial crisis. To date, the focus is largely on true-sale securitisation. Yet synthetic securitisation has notable potential as well, especially for SME lending. Synthetic securitisation saw mixed trends in recent years. 1) Complex arbitrage deals have almost disappeared. 2) Balance sheet synthetic deals have surged to an issuance volume of EUR 94 bn in 2016. Transactions have become mostly private, yet are now much less complex and of robust asset quality. A firm inclusion of balance sheet deals in the evolving framework for simple, transparent and standardised (STS) securitisations would be sensible and could well contribute to a recovery in lending in Europe.
Topics: Banking; Capital markets policy; European issues; Financial market trends; Global financial markets; International capital markets; International financial system; SMEs; Supervision and regulation
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6 21.02.2017 Artikel: Makroökonomie
EZB: Vom Inflationsanstieg (noch) unbeeindruckt
Abstract: Die in den letzten Monaten deutlich gestiegenen (Headline)-Inflationsraten haben zum Wiederaufflammen der Diskussionen über das EZB-Anleihekaufprogramm geführt. Zuletzt legten auch die deutschen Erzeugerpreise deutlich zu. Im Dezember 2016 erhöhten sich die Preise von Metallen (+5% gg. Vorjahresmonat) und Energie (+10%) besonders dynamisch, während der Rest (Gewicht 83,6%) aber weiterhin keinerlei Inflationsdruck zeigt.
Topics: European issues; Germany; Macroeconomics
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7 13.02.2017 Articles: European Policy Research
Germany: CDU & CSU team up to clip Schulz' rise
Abstract: At a meeting in Munich, the executive committees of the CDU and the CSU have largely demonstrated unanimity and the willingness to close the ranks behind Chancellor Merkel in the imminent election campaign after months of tension over Merkel’s refugee policy. The meeting is meant as the start signal of a joint campaign which aims at keeping Chancellor Merkel in office and preventing a “left republic”, the term the CSU uses to describe a coalition among the SPD, the Left and the Greens. As an anchor for a common campaign a joint election platform shall be launched. The platform is likely to focus on external and internal security, (income) tax reductions, support for families, prosperity and jobs and European policy. The Bavarian CSU, however, will stick to its demand for an upper limit on migration of 200,000 p.a. as a major element of its own complementary platform for Bavaria, weakening the signal of unanimity at a time when the SPD is surging in polls.
Topics: European issues
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8 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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9 30.01.2017 Aktuelle Themen
Ausblick Deutschland: Risiken für den Export – trotz unterstützender EZB
Abstract: Das deutsche BIP-Wachstum in 2016 erhöhte sich im Vergleich zu den beiden Vorjahren weiter (1,9% gg. Vj. nach 1,7%, bzw. 1,6%). Einige temporäre Faktoren (Flüchtlingszustrom, geringe Inflation, Stärke des Arbeitsmarktes) sorgten für eine äußerst robuste Binnenwirtschaft. Die Verlangsamung der Exporte belastet dagegen die privaten Ausrüstungsinvestitionen. Etwa die Hälfte des BIP-Wachstums ging auf Staatsausgaben zurück. Insgesamt deckte sich die Entwicklung weitgehend mit unseren Erwartungen und verändert daher unseren Ausblick auf 2017 nicht: Da einige günstige Faktoren abklingen und ein Arbeitstageeffekt dämpft, dürfte sich das BIP-Wachstum in 2017 auf 1,1% abschwächen. Jüngste Stimmungsindikatoren signalisieren gewisse Aufwärtsrisiken für unsere Konjunkturprognose. Weitere Themen:„Border Adjustment Tax“: Was ist das und was bedeutet es für deutsche Unternehmen? EZB: Geduld, Transparenz und Kerninflation.
Topics: Business cycle; Economic growth; Economic policy; European issues; European policy issues; Germany; Global financial markets; Globalisation; Intern. relations; Macroeconomics; Prices, inflation; Tax policy
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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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