Press Releases

Current and older Press Releases of DIW Berlin
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25 August 2004

Learning Regions Programme: Aid Tailored to Local Conditions

According to the current DIW Berlin Weekly Report (Wochenbericht 35/2004), it is likely that networks operating in attractive regional environments have a more positive influence on local learning and innovation processes than networks operating in less favourable economic environments with weak labour markets. This issue of the Wochenbericht studies the “Learning Regions – Providing Support for Networks” programme, which is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and is currently providing support to 73 networks in different regions and regional contexts in an effort to generate a new learning culture.

5 August 2004

The Economics of Corruption: New issue of the DIW Berlin’s Quarterly Journal of Economic Research

The current issue (2/2004) of the Quarterly Journal of Economic Research (Vierteljahrsheft zur Wirtschaftsforschung) illustrates the considerable progress made in the field of corruption research over the last 10 years. This research indicates that it is possible both to explain and to influence the degree of corruption in a given society. Corruption is not a consequence of an immutable “cultural” disposition, and it is not only a moral issue. Rather more than anything else it is a question of incentives. Corruption causes considerable harm to an economy, but the victims remain unaware of the problem unless they are informed by media reports. On 7 February 2004, the “Initiative Nachrichtenaufklärung” and the Recherche Network presented their Top Ten of neglected news topics for 2003. The topic selected by the jury as the most important issue neglected by the news media last year was “Corruption: Bribery Amongst German Companies Abroad”.

23 July 2004

New Managing Director at the DIW Berlin

DIW Berlin has a new Managing Director. The vacancy at the Berlin Institute will be filled by Dr. Susanne Maria Schmidt on 1 January 2005. The 32-year-old Doctor of Economics has already been acting Managing Director of the Institute since 1 September 2003.

26 May 2004

Pension insurance: Decline in satisfaction and sceptical view of private provision

The Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) survey conducted by the DIW Berlin and the Infratest Social Research Institute shows a sharp decline between 1992 and 2002 in the working-age population’s satisfaction with retirement insurance. According to figures published in the current DIW Berlin Weekly Report (Wochenbericht 22/2004), the share of satisfied respondents fell during this period from 37% to 25%, while the share of dissatisfied respondents rose from 30% to over 40%.

19 May 2004

Confidence in Germany: High levels of mistrust towards large businesses and trade unions

A special survey conducted by the DIW Berlin’s Socio-Economic Panel, in cooperation with Infratest Sozialforschung, indicates signs of a crisis of confidence in Germany, notes DIW Berlin’s Weekly Report, No. 21/2004. Confidence in politics (i.e., the Bundestag) has been largely eroded; moreover, the level of confidence in big business and the trade unions is also low. This scenario is all the more disturbing since confidence in the private sphere continues to remain more or less intact, with levels of trust in family and friends standing at over 90%. Neighbours and colleagues, too, enjoy the trust of more than two-thirds of those surveyed.

19 May 2004

Professional Mobility in Germany on the Rise

Germany’s labour market flexibility has risen in the past 10 years, according to findings published in DIW Berlin’s current Weekly Report (21/2004). Calculations by the Institute’s Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) for the period 1992 to 2002 have found that the number of those starting a new job within one year has risen by more than 30%, to almost 6.3 million persons. Given the falling number of employed persons overall, this dynamism is generated in particular by women and young people.

27 April 2004

The State of the World Economy and the German Economy - Spring 2004

A global economic upturn is unfolding. Since mid-2003 production has been expanding rapidly in many countries and capacity utilisation has been rising. The upswing is centred in North America and in East Asia. Its robustness is evidenced by the marked increase in investment and in the fact that the optimistic mood in the stock market was not lastingly impaired either by the most recent terrorist acts or by the renewed worsening of the situation in Iraq. Investment was favourably affected by monetary policy: The U.S. Federal Reserve, the Bank of Japan and also the European Central Bank have maintained an expansionary stance for some time. Internationally the costs of external financing are low, in nominal as well as in real terms. All this has bolstered expected sales, not least in the information and communications industry. The latter was particularly hard hit in the recession in 2001 and product innovations have now given rise to higher demand. After a rapid expansion in the first half of this year the upswing in the international growth regions will become somewhat less strong.

26 April 2004

DIW Berlin: Three new Heads of Department appointed

The DIW Berlin has appointed three new Heads of Department. On 15 April 2004, Professor Dr. Claudia Kemfert took over as Director of the
“Energy, Transportation, Environment” Department. On 1 May 2004, Axel Werwatz, Ph.D., took over the “Innovation, Manufacturing, Service”
Department, and Dörte Höppner the “Information and Organisation” Service Department. All three appointments are made due to retirement. DIW Berlin President Professor Dr. Klaus F. Zimmermann notes: “We are delighted to
have been able to achieve a well-balanced generational handover in each of these three important management positions. Claudia Kemfert and Axel Werwatz, as all our new research department heads, are firmly linked with universities through joint appointments, thereby enabling us to fulfil the highest scientific standards and requirements. These
appointments permit the DIW Berlin to further consolidate its reputation
as a leading research institute and to strengthen the services it
provides - both to the public and to policy makers.”

15 April 2004

DIW Berlin Presents Report on the German Banking Sector

The three-pillar system in the German banking sector is a historical development and it is facing major changes. The banks incorporated under public law have so far been granted special guarantees but from mid-2005 these will change. In a report commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Finance DIW Berlin states that the unification of the “rules of the game” in the German financial sector that has now been tackled will involve heavier costs for the savings banks and state banks.

17 March 2004

Poland on the Threshold of the European Union

Poland’s gross domestic product will grow by about 4% this year and next. That is the finding in DIW Berlin’s current Wochenbericht 12/2004, which was written in cooperation with the Centre for Social and Economic Analysis (CASE) in Warsaw.

10 March 2004

Spain: Strong Monetary Stimulus conceals Structural Weaknesses

The Spanish economy has been growing much more strongly than the Eurozone average in recent years, and almost three times as strongly as the German economy. Spain’s growth in GDP in 2003 was 2.4%. But the impressive growth process is on a shaky base, according to DIW Berlin’s current Wochenbericht (No. 11/2004). The main reasons for the rapid rate of expansion in Spain - low real interest rates, the multiplier effects of EU funds and fiscal incentives - cannot be sustained long term. Moreover, most of them are outside the immediate sphere of influence of Spanish economic policy. Spain elected a new parliament on 14 March 2004, and with it a new government. It should make good use of the mood of optimism and the desire for change at the start of the legislative period and tackle the necessary changes quickly.

3 March 2004

CO2 Emissions in Germany in 2003: A Slight Increase due to Weather Conditions

Energy-induced CO2 emissions in Germany rose by 0.4% in 2003 from 2002, to just under 837 mill. t. The increase was chiefly due to the cold weather in the first quarter, while the lower level of economic activity kept emissions down. After adjustment for temperature factors there was a fall of 5.4 mill. t. of CO2 (-0.6%).

25 February 2004

Upward Trend in the Economy at the Start of the Year

The main macroeconomic indicators for Germany are pointing to improvement in the basis cyclical trend at the start of the year, according to DIW Berlin’s current Weekly Report, No. 9/2004. The latest figures on orders received are clearly pointing upward. Growth in orders received from abroad was very strong in the review period, at 3.7% quarter-on-quarter, and orders from domestic customers were similarly dynamic. The current DIW economic barometer also indicates acceleration at the start of the year. All in all, growth in real GDP of 4%, after adjustment for seasonal factors and working days, is to be expected for the first quarter of 2004.

18 February 2004

Enlargement of the EU Eastwards: A New Estimate of Potential Migration

A Report by DIW Berlin for the European Commission

In a study for the European Commission, “Potential Migration from Central and Eastern Europe into the EU-15 - An Update”, the Deutsches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (DIW Berlin) has updated its research results and examined the effects of different transition periods for the free movement of people.

11 February 2004

Primary energy consumption stagnating in Germany

Primary energy consumption in Germany amounted to around 489 million t SKE (hard coal units) or 14 334 petajoules in 2003, which was much the same figure as for 2002. According to the current DIW Berlin Weekly Report (Wochenbericht 7/2004), the stagnation was the result of various conflicting influences. While consumption was curbed by the weak pace of growth, the cold weather in the first quarter of the year raised the demand for energy. When the figures are adjusted for the effect of the low temperatures, primary energy consumption is seen to have fallen by 1% in 2003 on the previous year. As overall economic performance declined slightly (-0.1%), the temperature-adjusted energy productivity of the economy improved by 0.9% last year. This was a slightly weaker improvement than the long-term average (1991 to 2002: +1.3%).

3 February 2004

Klaus F. Zimmermann remains president of the DIW Berlin

Klaus F. Zimmermann will remain the president of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin). The Chairman of the Institute’s Board of Trustees, Prof. Dr. Günter Stock of Schering AG, announced today that Professor Zimmermann has signed a contract extending his term of office by a further five years. “Professor Zimmermann’s decision means that the excellent progress made by the DIW Berlin under his leadership over the last four years can now continue”, Professor Stock said, adding that “this is extremely important in view of the fact that the Institute will be evaluated by the Leibniz Association in autumn 2004”. The DIW Berlin is due for evaluation by the Leibniz Association this October. The assessment will not only regard the scientific quality of the DIW Berlin’s research work, but also the Institute’s internal organisation and the extent to which it makes information available to the wider public. Professor Zimmermann said: “I am extremely pleased by the confidence placed in my work and will do everything in my power to lead the DIW Berlin to the top of the national and international ranks of economic research institutes”. The DIW Berlin’s Advisory Board and Board of Trustees had recently already unanimously applauded the results achieved over the last few years.

15 April 2003

The State of the World Economy and the German Economy in the Spring of 2003

The global economy is in the midst of a phase of weakness. In line with the escalation of the Iraq conflict and, related to it, the increasing world-wide uncertainty regarding economic and geopolitical developments, the economic recovery has stalled once again. In nearly all industrial countries, but also in the newly industrialising economies and the countries of Central and East-ern Europe, growth of real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has slowed during the winter half year. In the United States this underlying trend was eclipsed by the spending on the Iraq War.
The present forecast is based on the assumption that the situation in Iraq will calm down during spring. The uncertainty and its paralysing effects will then abate, oil prices will decline, stock markets and the exchange rate of the dollar will stabilise. In this environment, the expansionary monetary policy will increasingly develop its effects, and economic activity will firm in the fur-ther course of the year. Nonetheless, the upward trend in the industrial countries remains rela-tively restrained. This is partly due to the fact that, with the exception of the United States, there is nowhere an impetus from fiscal policy. In addition, there is the need for consolidation in the private sector in view of the prolonged poor profit situation of firms and the high indebtedness of private households in many countries. In the course of next year, at the earliest, GDP will in many regions expand a little faster than potential output.

29 November 2002

Moderate Growth Ahead
Unemployment expected to rise

Global economic activity has weakened significantly in recent months after strengthening considerably in the first half of 2002 and while the outlook remains uncertain the prospects bode well for a recovery in 2003 and 2004. As 2002 progressed activity slowed and events over recent months regarding corporate governance, volatility in equity prices and the possibility of military action on Iraq have served to depress both consumer and business confidence. For the year as a whole we continue to expect global GDP growth (measured at Purchasing Power Parity exchange rates) to be around 2.8 per cent, which whilst below long-term trend levels, would be a welcome improvement on the growth of under 2.2 per cent seen in 2001. Most of the major world economies are now expected to return towards potential growth levels during 2003 and sustain this momentum into 2004.

27 November 2002

EU on the eve of Eastern Enlargement: The European Convent should seize the opportunity to introduce reforms

The EU is very ill prepared for the entry of less prosperous countries with predominantly agricultural economies, because fundamental reform of the EU policies that affect the budget is still largely overdue. The DIW Berlin reaches this conclusion in the current weekly report 48/2002. However, according to the DIW Berlin the fear of an explosive increase in spending as a result of eastern enlargement of the EU is unfounded. DIW Berlin evolved a number of EU budget scenarios. They are based on calculations of the effects the entry of twelve new member states and the implementation of the main options for reform could have on the budget and the net payment positions of the individual member states. According to these calculations, between Euro 23 and 27 billion, depending on the scenario, will flow to the new members (Acceding Countries - AC 10) in 2013 when all the transition phases have come to an end. In return the EU will receive Euro 3 to 4 billion in contributions. If the CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) is transferred in full about 8 to 10 billion Euro will be needed in that field for the ten new ten members. The projection of funds for the EU15 depend heavily on assumptions about the shape of agricultural and structural policy after 2006. If the status quo is maintained the figure will be a good 60 billion Euro (in 1999 prices) in 2013. If ten new members join the costs will rise to 77 billion Euro. If reforms are carried out in both policy areas the sum will fall noticeably. Transfers of that size (between 0,5 and 0,9% of the total GDP) would certainly not be an unacceptable load for the present EU member states.

13 November 2002

Weak economic cycle: First results from the German national income and product account for the third quarter of 2002
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Contrary to former expectations, the economic development has not exhibited any dynamism after the second quarter of this year. According to provisional calculations real GDP has increased by 0.3% compared to the previous quarter, which means an increase by 1.1% compared to the previous year. In the current weekly report 46/2002 the DIW Berlin forecasts stagnant growth for real GDP in the fourth quarter of this year. Compared to the previous year this means an increase of only 0.5%.

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