Bielmeiers Blog

DZ BANK

Selecting business news – analysing it – commenting on it. That’s the job of Stefan Bielmeier, Chief Economist and Head of DZ BANK’s Research and Economics Division, and of his team of analysts. In his blog, Bielmeier reports on economic developments in the world's most important economic regions, looks at trends in the international financial markets and states his position on current political events.

Bielmeier’s Blog picks out the essence of the daily data deluge for you – make use of his expert knowledge.
DAX before record level – what now?

The less dynamic global economy is weighing on domestic exports. The so important automotive industry is undergoing long-term structural change – with an uncertain outcome – and many companies in the DAX are still struggling with homemade problems. Trend themes in technology, the Internet and other sectors are being driven forward in the USA and China, not in Germany. No wonder that the soon to be highest level in DAX history feels somewhat wrong. After all, the profits of DAX companies have been falling for a good three years. Without wanting to get close to the guarantors of success in the index (SAP, Allianz, Adidas or Siemens), who were able to more than compensate for the price losses of the „underperformers“: In fact, a significant part of the DAX upturn is not due to the „sexiness“ of the index companies, but rather to the fact that the DAX is a…

Economic damage caused by corona virus should remain limited

From a medical and human point of view, the outbreak and rapid spread of the new corona virus in China and beyond its borders is certainly very regrettable and worrying. From an economic point of view, however, the damage should be limited at present. This should be due not least to the rigorous crackdown by the Chinese authorities and their – unlike during the SARS epidemic 17 years ago – almost astonishingly transparent information policy. A comparison with the spread of SARS in the winter of 2002/03 and its economic consequences is, of course, obvious at present. At that time, consumption in China collapsed, and passenger air travel also declined significantly. In neighbouring Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong, economic output shrank. At that time, however, the Chinese authorities had kept information about the outbreak of the epidemic under wraps for as long as possible. During this time, the virus was…

Purchasing managers in the EMU are cautiously optimistic

At first glance, the mood among purchasing managers remains subdued at the beginning of the new year 2020 according to the survey by IHS Markit in the euro zone. The comprehensive composite purchasing managers‘ index on the situation in industry and services remained at the previous month’s level of 50.9 points in January according to the preliminary publication. In detail, however, the business outlook is brightening, probably also due to the initial de-escalation in the Pacific trade dispute. Another ray of hope is the development of incoming orders, which the purchasing managers surveyed are no longer as pessimistic as in previous months. At least for the rest of the year, this gives reason to hope that the economy in the euro zone has put the worst behind it and is continuing to stabilize. It is true that the dichotomy between weak industry on the one hand and a service sector,…

Industrial economy slows down growth of corporate loans in Germany

The economic problems in parts of German industry are increasingly reflected in the banks‘ lending business. As the results of the latest ECB Bank Lending Survey in Germany show, banks tightened their lending conditions for companies in the final quarter of 2019, for example by widening margins. Although the demand for credit from corporate customers continued to rise overall, this was not the case in the first quarter of 2019. However, growth was driven by small and medium-sized enterprises, while demand for loans from large companies actually declined. For the coming months, a clear majority of banks expect demand for loans from corporate customers to shrink. Compared to the October survey, the share of pessimistic banks has even increased, especially with regard to large companies. Even if no further tightening or even loosening of lending guidelines is planned for the time being, the growth of corporate loans on banks‘ books…

Lagarde is in no hurry

The 500th council meeting exactly five years after the announcement of the QE program would have been an exciting event. The fact that there were no new announcements on the ECB’s current monetary policy today was not surprising. On the one hand, the economic picture with decreasing downside risks is developing more or less as expected by the ECB. Accordingly, there was no need to change course. An interesting statement regarding indications as to whether Mrs Lagarde prefers a hawkish or dovish course was the brooch she wore today – an owl! On the other hand, in view of the strategic review of monetary policy that is now under way, the ECB will not necessarily be willing to make adjustments if it does not have to. Why should it, when in a year’s time it may have a different approach. As far as the strategic review of monetary policy is…

At the top the environment

These days, environmental protection is at the top of the agenda of the discussions at the World Economic Summit in Davos. The negative consequences of global warming can no longer be ignored, and the pictures of the devastating wildfires in Australia once again show the explosive nature of the problem, even if it is still barely reflected in the economic statistics. Economic calculators were once developed to make economic success measurable – as income minus costs. The costs are all expenses that can be valued in monetary terms, both for the companies and at the macroeconomic level. The freely available environmental resources water and especially air have not been included for far too long. Even today, the costs of pollution are usually not borne by the polluter, but by the general public. This economic miscalculation must be changed as quickly as possible, there is probably broad agreement on this, although…