Press Releases

Current and older Press Releases of DIW Berlin
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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%.

21 August 2002

DIW Berlin: Sobering results of international climate protection policy, emissions still far above targets

The DIW Berlin's current weekly report 34/2002 discusses the sobering conclusions that will be drawn by the countries participating in the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg next Monday. Above all it is the industrial states that carry the majority of responsibility for the climatic problems, and they have not yet managed to reduce or even stabilise their greenhouse gas emissions. Only the reduction in emissions by the transition countries of Central and Eastern Europe in the 1990s has helped reduce total emissions, although this development was by no means the result of successfully implemented climate protection measures. Regarding the further increase in emissions in developing countries, there are still no prospects for a sustainable reduction in emissions on a global level.

14 August 2002

Weak economic climate in the first half year.
DIW Berlin: Increasing impact of the domestic economy in the third quarter of 2002

In its current weekly report 33/2002, the DIW Berlin reports only a slight upward trend in overall economic performance in the second quarter of 2002, as was the case in the first quarter of this year. The seasonally adjusted real gross domestic product increased by 0.2%, which exceeded the previous year's level by 0.4%. The lack of stronger expansion is mainly attributable to private households, which, for the fourth successive quarter, reduced real consumption. The considerable decline in building investments also had a negative effect on the economy. Exports, however, increased further, although less dynamically than in the first quarter. The sharp decline in investment in new equipment bottomed out at the end of 2000, which also had a positive effect on the economy.

31 July 2002

Reform of local authorities' finances absolutely necessary. DIW Berlin: Crisis in the financial and investment sector compels local authorities to act

The DIW Berlin reports a decline in investment activities, the main result of substantial financial problems at the local level, according to the current DIW Wochenbericht. Local finances depend heavily on the Länder, whichhave consolidated their finances over the last few years at the cost of the municipalities. Tax revenues are also performing poorly at the moment. Local budgetary law sets strict limits on borrowings, and as a result, impending budget deficits can only be avoided by quickly reducing expenditures. Thus, investments - as the most flexible form of expenditures - are suffering most severely.

24 July 2002

German attitudes towards the euro: political advantages valued over economic benefits

Prior the introduction of euro notes and coins, German acceptance of the euro was low compared to the other countries participating in monetary union. Some enthusiasm was noted shortly after the notes and coins were introduced, but this, however, subsided in the following weeks. Yet, acceptance of the euro is greater than it was last year: then two-thirds of all Germans were concerned about the introduction of the euro, now only fifty per cent are. Germany is among the countries with the lowest acceptance of the euro within the European Monetary Union.

2 July 2002

Budget consolidation in the Eurozone:
Growth not expenditure reduction decisive

Economic requirements should always be taken into consideration when working to meet the targets set by EU stabilisation programmes. Consolidating budget deficits in the Eurozone in a rapid and sustainable way can only be achieved with high economic growth. The DIW Berlin reached this conclusion in its current weekly report 27/2002. Finland and the Netherlands, two countries who have been especially successful at consolidating their budget deficits, were chosen as an example by the Berlin-based institute in order to refute the opinion that such targets can only be achieved through strict budget cuts.

26 June 2002

Problems for international comparisons
of industrial trends

The production index and real net output, performance indicators for industrial branches, do not provide a realistic enough picture for an international comparison of the performance trends of an industry and its branches to be made. In its current weekly report 26/2002, the DIW Berlin suggests incorporating other information into such evaluations, like employment and investment trends.

12 June 2002

Hesitant economic recovery in Eurozone. DIW Berlin: Noticeable recovery only in 2nd half of year

According to calculations by the DIW Berlin, GDP in the Eurozone increased by 0.3% in the first quarter of 2002; a figure which corresponds to a current annual rate of 1.2%. Last year's weak economic cycle seems to have begun to gradually recede. This slight recovery is mainly attributable to a higher net trade in goods and services; while exports in the Eurozone increased by 1%, imports experienced a marked decrease. Domestic demand components have not really given off any growth impulses so far. Private consumption stagnated during the first quarter; investments continued their downward trend.

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