Economic forecast mid-year Germany

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1 Economic forecast mid-year Germany Berlin (gtai) The German economy is on the rise, according to Sigmar Gabriel, Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy. As a result of rising wages and increasing employment, Germany is moving onto a solid growth path. Basis for the GDP growth is the increase in private consumption spending, a key difference between the current upturn and others. Future challenges include, among other things, increasing the investment levels and infrastructural improvements. Contents 1 Overall economic outlook... 2 Development of gross domestic product... 2 Investments... 3 Consumption... 3 Foreign trade Industries overview... 5 Mechanical and plant engineering... 5 Automotive industry... 5 Chemicals... 6 Construction industry... 6 Electronics and electrical engineering... 6 Information and communication technology... 7 Environmental technology... 7 Medical technology... 7 Logistics... 7 Wind energy... 8 Food and nutrition

2 1 Overall Economic Outlook Development of gross domestic product A crash in the international oil price and a heavy fall in the value of the Euro against the dollar among others have handed a competitive advantage to the German economy in the first half of Several research institutes, as a part of a joint economic forecast, are anticipating a 2.1% rise in GDP on the basis of this advantage. Within a 68% prognosis interval, the probable rise should be anywhere along a spread between 1.4 and 2.8%. Looking further ahead to 2016, the growth tempo may slow very slightly. Economic development (real change over the previous year in %) * 2016 * GDP Exports (goods only) Gross fixed capital formation Private consumption *) 2014, 2015: projection Source: Joint Economic Forecast from the DIW, IFO, IWH Halle and RWI Essen, Federal office of statistics; Federal Government spring projection. During 2015, in view of the climbing capacity utilization, the German economy will reach a point where it is using its full production potential and where the so-called production gap will close, according to the joint economic forecast. In the medium term, the rise in production potential could amount to around 1.4% per annum. As the net inflow of primary incomes from abroad should continue to increase, the Gross National Income for 2015 will probably increase by a good 4% (up from 3.2% in 2014). Key Economic Data Indicator * GDP (nominal, bn. Euro) 2, , ,019.6 GDP per capita (Euro) ** 34,219 35,237 36,500 Population, as of 31/12 in each year (Mio.)*** *Projection; **in the national economic accounts, the federal statistics agency is not yet using the results of the 2011 census in its reports. ***13th coordinated population forecast from 2015, Continuity under condition of slow immigration scenario. Sources: Joint Economic Forecast 2015; Federal office of statistics. The Federal Ministry for Economics and Energy (BMWi) would like to remain at the safe end of the prognosis spectrum with an early year prognosis of 1.8% for 2015, as a result of the continued existing global risks. The figures already announced for the first quarter of 2015 (1.1% increase year on year) seem to justify this reserve. As Minister Gabriel emphasized, the current upswing is accompanied by a strong rise in employment, contrary to many periods in the past. 2

3 The financial situation in the public sector has eased further. Pivotal to this were rising revenues as a result of favorable market conditions, particularly income tax and social contributions, a fall in the interest rate and labor market related savings, according to the joint economic forecast. These resulted in a budget surplus of EUR 18bn in 2014 (4.2bn in 2013, 2.6bn in 2012). Weighed against GDP, the positive balance improved from 0.1% in 2012 to 0.6% in The state s financial situation should continue to improve in 2015 and 2016 (forecast surpluses of 20.7bn and 25.6bn respectively), which should expand the scope for action reduction in debt and added investment among other things. Investment A large rise in investment is not expected. There will continue to be orientation around replacement and rationalization. According to the IFO Business Survey, on the basis of the anticipated demand only producers of data-processing devices and electronics are likely to suffer capacity constraints. The readiness to invest in industry will be concentrated on capital goods producers in services industries, such as the ICT, Research and Development and leasing sectors. Altogether, the capital equipment investment in 2015 could rise by 3.2%. With respect to increased capacity utilization particularly in sectors close to the private consumption sector companies may look harder at capacity-expanding investments, say analysts at the Kiel institute for global economy (IfW). Additionally, the monetary policy of the European Central Bank is extremely expansive by German standards. As a result of this we can also expect interest on bank loans to continue to fall and the low interest rate environment to continue. These conditions also make investment in residential housing more favorable. Net investment is, in the eyes of Minister Gabriel, too low, more money has flowed to the financial market than the production economy. The government target is an increase in spending on education and infrastructure as well as improvements in the conditions for private investors. Consumption Private consumption has been a significant buttress for the recent upswing. The falling oil price, the increase in employment and rising wages (in real terms), along with the introduction of the minimum wage have all led to the strengthening purchasing power of the end consumer. Household spending has increased in 2015 by a real 2.5% (1.2% in 2014), according to the institute. The number of income-earners has, due to increased immigration among other things, climbed 0.8% to around 43m people. Demand in consumer goods markets has been strengthened even more by low inflation and the weakening Euro. The institute is reckoning with an increase in consumer prices of 0.5% in 2015 and 1.3% in Inflation will therefore remain well under the monetary policy 3

4 benchmark rate of 2%. According to the Federal Office of Statistics the discounting of money in 2014 averaged at 0.9% (1.5% in 2013). However, against a background of exchange rate changes in currency markets, goods from outside of Europe became more expensive. In the eyes of market researchers of the GfK, the income gains made travel and accommodation and household renovations cheaper. The tendency to purchase long-lasting consumer goods also remained high. Foreign Trade German exporters are improving in the USA and Europe especially, as a result, among other things, of the general rejuvenation of the economy according to the IfW. An increased demand for intermediate goods in export markets and the rise in private consumption spending are stimulating import activities on their side. The afore-mentioned joint economic forecast sees a real increase in exports of 6% (4.1% in 2014) as well as an import surplus of 6.2% (4.3%in 2014). In movements of services, a rise in revenues of 4.3% (2.3% in 2014) and an increase in expenditure of 4.7% (up from a real -0.1% in 2013) are expected. German Foreign Trade (in bn. Euro; Changes year on year in %) Change 2014/2013 Imports Exports 1.095, , ,5 3.7 Corrente Accounting Balance Source: Federal Office of Statistics Germany s Terms of Trade have improved in 2015, primarily on the basis of falling raw material prices, according to IfW analysts. On the other hand, the decline in value of the Euro has dampened the effects of the falling prices significantly. Additionally, exporters are passing on the cost reductions for intermediate goods to their foreign customers. Along with possible higher investment incomes from abroad, the trade balance will thus continue to improve; in the joint economic forecast the economic institutes considered a possible rise from Euro 219.7bn to 256bn Euros, a 7.6% and 8.5% proportion of GDP respectively. Exports by type of good (in bn. Euro; Changes year on year in %) SITC Type of good Change 2014/ Food and live animals Chemicals and related products Organic chemicals Medicinal and pharmaceutical products Plastics in primary forms

5 6 Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material.67 Iron and steel Machinery and transport equipment Power-generating machinery and equipment.72 Machinery specialized for particular industries.74 General industrial machinery and equipment, and machine parts.77 Electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances.78 Road vehicles Miscellaneous manufactured articles Professional, scientific and controlling instruments and apparatus Source: Federal Office of Statistics 2 Industries overview Industry 4.0 dominated the agenda at the Hannover Expo According to Minister Gabriel, Germany will become the lead supplier and market for Industry 4.0 solutions. Under this analysis, traditional value creation chains will continue to develop or restructure themselves as new business models are created. But for now, small to medium enterprises need to be made more sensitive to the chances and risks created by digitization. By and large, the increasing capacity utilization in working industry present since 2013 has crossed normal levels. According to the Order-Capacity-Index produced by the German Federal Bank, industrial enterprises have received more orders than they can process with their existing facilities since the fourth quarter of Mechanical and plant engineering Machine production will increase 2% in 2015, says Reinhold Festge, President of the German Machine and Plant Construction Union (VDMA). In 2014, there was a 1.1% increase to EUR 199bn. The lack of will to invest is still a lag on the sector at home, while by contrast the foreign demand is running off domestic orders. The falling value of the Euro is ensuring quite a tailwind behind machine sales; but exports to the rest of Europe will continue to grow as well. According to VDMA sources, machine exports climbed 1.7% in 2014 to EUR 152bn. The largest importer of German machines was the EU zone, which spent EUR 65.3bn (up 7.3%) 5

6 Automotive industry The growth rates achieved up to April 2015 have left the German Association of the Automobile Industry (VDA) with an optimistic view of the year ahead. Association Chief Mathias Wissmann announced confidently a 6% rise in new car sales in the first quarter to about 800,000 units, as well as the increasing orders from abroad. Yet these numbers are not yet reflected in production and export figures for German-based firms (no change to first quarter figures from 2014 of 1.5m and 1.1m respectively). The VDA predicted an overall production rise of 2% for the whole of In m units rolled off German production lines (a 3% rise). Exports rose 2.5% to 4.3m cars. Drivers of innovation remain automated and integrated driving, along with electromobility. Chemicals In the face of lower oil prices and increasing global competition the revenues in the German Chemical sector will fall by 0.5% to roughly EUR 192.2bn in 2015, according to the German Chemical Industry Association (VCI). An increase in production of 1.5% is contrasted by a fall in sales prices of 2%. Good examples of this are primary chemicals such as Ethylene, Propylene or Benzol, which cost around 35% less at the end of February 2015 than it did at the end of July The industry sector closed 2014 having produced 1.5% more, based solely upon the pharmaceutical sector s activity (5.7% up) and producers of special chemicals (4.2% up). Sector turnover increased 1.4% to EUR 193.2bn. By and large, the VCI is assuming a slowdown in growth within the European area, with correspondingly modest influences on the chemical market. Construction industry The industry unions HDB and ZDB are expecting revenue increases of 2% to EUR 101bn in the main construction trades for Residential construction is set to show the best development, with a 3% rise in revenues to EUR 36.7bn. A 1.5% raise in commercial construction revenues to EUR 36.3bn is realistic, although higher investment in civil engineering by Deutsche Bahn is looming. In public construction there is set to be a 1% raise to revenue of EUR 28bn. The building industry (without the large companies) on the other hand, is expecting a 2% raise in revenues to around EUR 221bn. From this forecast, the area of building technology separates itself from the rest (3% up to about EUR 60bn, including sanitation, heating and climate branches). Main construction and renovation will both grow 2% to EUR 82bn and 80bn respectively. Electronics and electrical engineering The German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association (ZVEI) is forecasting a 1.5% rise in price-adjusted electronic products for 2015, up to around EUR 175bn. The sector revenues rose in the first quarter of 2015 to EUR 42.7bn, 4.1% more than the corresponding quarter in Within that was a 2.2% fall in domestic proceeds (to EUR 20.3bn), but a rise in foreign revenues of 10% to EUR 22.4bn), where the sales in the 6

7 European area increased faster than those outside (13.3% to EUR 8.5bn against 8% to EUR 13.9bn). In 2014, production rose in real terms by 2.6%. Turnover rose 2.9% to a total EUR 171.8bn. Exports reached a new record level: EUR 165.5bn (up 4.9%). Information and communication technology The revenues in the IT sector are set to grow by 3.2% to EUR 80.3bn but will stay at around EUR 65bn in the Telecommunications sector, according to the Digital Association of Germany (BITKOM). On the growth side are the software branch (up 5.7% to EUR 20.2bn), IT service providers (up 3% to EUR 37.3bn with big gains in consulting and project business), trade in tablets (up 7.8% to EUR 2.4bn) and the sales of infrastructure systems (up 3.6% to EUR 6.5bn). That last aspect reflects the investment activities of network operators expanding the broadband network. BITKOM is expecting more modest results in the fixed line and mobile services, and desktop PC and notebooks. Environmental Technology Most producers of refuse and recycling technologies are expecting similar or rising revenues to The anticipated bottom line rise in overall sales is generally linked to strong foreign demand by the German Engineering Association (VDMA). Members of the Association of Secondary Raw Materials and Waste Management (BVSE), by contrast, are looking at a slight fall in income (following a 3% rise in 2014). The BVSE sees the problems for the Mittelstand companies as a lack of investment, among other things. Growth markets such as China, Russia and North America play an important role in the heating trade. Globally, the revenues for the members of the Association of German Heating Industry were EUR 13.2bn in 2014 (up from 12.4bn in 2013). Medical Technology The export economy is also set to give a boost to the medical technology branch. In the domestic market a shortage of cash and a lack of willingness to invest in new facilities such as hospitals are holding it back. Yet the industry association Spectaris registered a turnover rise across 1,200 German medical technology producers of 2.3% to EUR 25.2bn. Around two thirds of the indicated figure is attributable to business abroad. Domestic sales rose 3% in 2014 to EUR 8.1bn. Companies are regarding the near future with mixed feelings: while a strong growth is probable over the medium-term, few firms foresee a significant improvement in Logistics Representatives of the German Logistics Association (BVL) reckon that 2015 could be a record year from a turnover perspective. The basis for this optimism is the general economic outlook and the values of the logistical indicators from March The latter of those two is clearly above normal levels in an expanding sector. Revenues in 2014 rose 7

8 from EUR 230bn to 235bn according to BVL estimates. The most pressing needs to improve competitiveness are a stronger integration of information technologies into daily practice. Investment in physical infrastructure is also required. Wind energy The so-called Repowering has emerged as a billion-euro market. From the extensive expansion around the time of the turn of the century there is now an opportunity to make the existing power plant complex more efficient through replacement investment. The Wind Energy Association is expecting a net expansion from 3,500 MW to 4,000 MW for 2015, but the business will probably end 2016 with less. In 2014 the operators constructed 4,750 MW of capacity (2013: 2,998 MW). 544 turbines were deconstructed, adding up to 364 MW. As a consequence, the total capacity was 38,115 MW. Also, there is good potential for recycling of worn out wind turbines. Food and nutrition The Federal Association of the German Nutrition Industry is seeing a nominal turnover growth of up to 2% for This is however dependent on the development of export business, market prices, production costs and private consumption. The industry turnover fell in 2014, because of falling sales prices among other things, by 1.7% to EUR 172.2bn. Production climbed only slightly. The lion s share of turnover came from meat and related products, milk and dairy products and bread products. A record EUR 54.4bn worth of groceries were sold abroad in 2014, around 80% within the EU. Export markets outside of Europe such as America and Asia are gaining in importance, however. 8

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