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Press releases in the past quarter

  1. Minimum Wage and Economic Growth – Politicians are Mistaken

    Oct 17, 2014: “Politicians are mistaken if they think that the statutory minimum wage recently passed by the German Parliament will not dampen economic activity and growth prospects”, says Niklas Potrafke, head of the Ifo Centre for Public Finance and Political Economy. “In fact, the minimum wage, which will take effect in January, is already subduing economic and growth prospects as businesses proactively factor in this prescribed wage level. The companies have anticipated that unit labour costs will rise and accordingly are already investing less. This is clouding the economic outlook and dampening long-term economic growth.” Details

  2. Ifo President Sinn Opposes Transfer of Risks to Taxpayers

    Oct 14, 2014: Ifo President Hans-Werner Sinn berates the purchase of government bonds by the European Central Bank (ECB). Commenting on the European Court of Justice proceedings, Sinn said: “The financial markets have only been calmed by the fact that the investment risk has been shifted from the clever gamblers behind screens to taxpayers who are acting in good faith. That is cynical. We allow investors to escape rather than bearing the consequences of their decisions. Ordinary people are being turned into hostages of the financial markets and speculators, who are forcing politicians to take measures that the majority of these ordinary people may not want. It has to stop. There are also normal citizens who need to be calmed, not just the markets.” Details

  3. Distinguished CES Fellow Jean Tirole Wins Nobel Prize in Economics

    Oct 13, 2014: at the Ecole Polytechnique, Harvard, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Stanford, University... Details

  4. Ifo Institute: Germany Must Stay in the Black

    Oct 13, 2014: The Ifo Institute is astonished by statements in the media that the Joint Economic Forecast allegedly repudiates the German Federal government’s aim to achieve a balanced budget as an “object of prestige”. On the contrary, the institutes explicitly welcome the aim of a balanced budget in their Joint Economic Forecast and oppose further economic stimulus packages. The concept of a balanced budget is a highly meaningful “object of prestige” for Germany that should be respected in order to maintain the country’s credit-worthiness. The scope for investments and reductions to the tax burden referred to in the forecast is generated by the budget surpluses to be expected this year and in 2014. It is a misrepresentation of the forecast to interpret these references as calls for further borrowing. No such calls are made at any point in the forecast text. Details

  5. Joint Economic Forecast for Autumn 2014: German Economy Stagnating – Now is the Time To Strengthen Growth

    Oct 9, 2014: The German economy will grow by 1.3 percent this year and by 1.2 percent in 2015, predict the economic research institutes involved in the Joint Economic Forecast in their autumn report. According to the report, Germany’s economy has cooled down markedly. With economic output falling in the second quarter and stagnating in the third quarter of 2014, the engine for economic growth is proving hard to rev up again. Both domestic and foreign demand is weak: the consumer climate deteriorated recently and companies remain cautious about investment. The moderate pace of growth in the world economy and the low level of economic impetus in the euro area over the forecasting period are also having a negative impact. In this environment the economic research institutes are in favour of strengthening growth and creating more favourable investment conditions. They see financial scope for a more investment-friendly tax system and higher spending on areas that promote growth like physical and human capital. Details

  6. Ifo Institute Supports Debt Repayment and Opposes Tax Increases

    Oct 7, 2014: The Ifo Institute welcomes the call made by the Heinrich Böll Foundation for the German government to repay its debts. At the same time, however, Ifo opposes its proposed increase in the top taxation rate for income tax, tax on capital gains and inheritance tax. Details

  7. Oliver Falck Is Appointed New Director of Ifo Center for Industrial Organisation and New Technologies

    Oct 7, 2014: Prof. Oliver Falck, aged 40, was appointed the new Director of the Ifo Center for Industrial Organisation and New Technologies at the beginning of October. His research focuses on innovation, growth and entrepreneurship. Falck succeeds Prof. Tobias Kretschmer, who left Ifo at the end of June and has since devoted himself exclusively to his activities at the faculty of business administration at the University of Munich. Details

  8. Only Moderate Recovery Expected in Euro Area

    Oct 6, 2014: Economic output in the euro area is only expected to increase moderately by 0.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014 versus the previous quarter. Three research institutes from Germany, France and Italy (Ifo, INSEE and ISTAT) also expect an increase of just 0.2 percent for the third quarter that has just ended. Geopolitical uncertainties continue to erode the confidence of economic players; and growth for 2014 as a whole is expected to total 0.8 percent. Growth will not accelerate until the first quarter of 2015, when it is expected to pick up by 0.3 percent versus the previous quarter. Details

  9. Ifo President Hans-Werner Sinn criticises decision of the ECB

    Oct 2, 2014: Ifo President Hans-Werner Sinn sharply criticised today the ECB’s plan to buy asset-backed securities (ABS) and covered bonds. “The ECB will turn completely into a bail-out authority and Europe’s bad bank,” he said in Munich. Details

  10. Credit Constraint Indicator - From the Ifo Business Survey for September 2014

    Credit Constraints Increase Slightly, But Financing Conditions for German Companies Remain Very Favourable

    Sep 30, 2014: German companies continue to enjoy very good access to bank loans. Credit constraints for German industry and trade rose slightly to 18.4 percent from 17.9 percent. Financing conditions for German firms remain excellent. Details

  11. Results of the Ifo Business Survey for September 2014

    Ifo Business Climate for Eastern Germany Continues to Cloud Over

    Sep 29, 2014: The Ifo Business Climate Index for Eastern German trade and industry fell for the third consecutive month in September to just 107.3 points. While assessments of the current business situation in Eastern Germany remained almost unchanged compared to August, survey participants are clearly less optimistic about future business developments over the next six months. Geopolitical tensions are increasingly weakening the impetus of the Eastern German economy. Details

  12. Ifo Employment Barometer - Results of the Ifo Business Survey for September 2014

    German Companies Are Slightly More Cautious About Recruiting

    Sep 26, 2014: German firms are slightly less willing to recruit new staff. The Ifo Employment Barometer fell to 106.0 index points in September, after 107.0 points in August. Last month’s slightly positive employment dynamic is nevertheless expected to continue. Details

  13. Business Climate for Architects Clouds Over Slightly

    Sep 25, 2014: The business climate for freelance architects in Germany clouded over slightly at the beginning of the third quarter of 2014, but remains favourable. Details

  14. Ifo Business Climate Germany - Results of the September 2014 Ifo Business Survey

    Ifo Business Climate Index Continues to Fall

    Sep 24, 2014: The Ifo Business Climate Index for industry and trade in Germany fell in September to 104.7 points from 106.3 points in the previous month. The index dropped to its lowest level since April 2013. Assessments of the current business situation were once again less favourable than last month. Expectations with regard to the six-month business outlook fell to their lowest level since December 2012. The German economy is no longer running smoothly. Details

  15. Eastern German Economy Continues to Lag Behind

    Sep 24, 2014: A quarter of a century after the fall of the Berlin Wall Eastern Germany’s economy continues to lag behind that of Western Germany. The gap between Eastern and Western Germany’s economies has remained practically unchanged for years, and there is hardly any sign of the East catching up. Per capita GDP in the area formerly known as the German Democratic Republic is 66 percent of that in the former Federal Republic of Germany, including West Berlin. Germany has failed to achieve the “alignment of living standards” that it was aiming for. Although the economy of the former GDR grew by 20 percent between 1995 and 2013, the former Federal Republic of Germany’s economy expanded by 27 percent, according to data presented by the Ifo Institute. There are concerns that large swathes of East Germany will remain structurally weak regions in the future. Details

  16. Germans Favour Compulsory Preschool and the Abolition of Fees – Results of the First Ifo Education Barometer

    Sep 15, 2014: Germans are in favour of compulsory preschool attendance (86 percent), the abolition of preschool fees (84 percent) and a whole-day school system with lessons until 3 p.m. (60 percent). The majority of Germans (51 percent) is opposed to childcare subsidies for stay-at-home parents. Moreover, Germans are in favour of a nationwide exit exam for the Abitur (A-level equivalent) and think that it is important that the country performs well in the PISA test. These are the results of the first Ifo Education Barometer, a new, comprehensive and representative public opinion survey of over 4,000 Germans supported by the Leibniz Association. Details

  17. Germany on Track To Become World Champion in Capital Exports

    Sep 12, 2014: After winning the Football World Cup Germany is also on track to become world champion in capital exports in 2014, reported the Ifo Institute in Munich. The German current account, which is forecast to total 280 billion US dollars for 2014, is once again higher than that of China, which is expected to post a surplus of around 230 billion US dollars this year. Lagging some way behind in third place is oil exporter Saudi Arabia. In Germany the main driving force is trade in goods, which by July had already generated a surplus of 133 billion euros. Details

  18. Ifo Researcher Ludger Wößmann Receives Gossen Prize

    Sep 8, 2014: The German Association of Economists has awarded Ifo researcher Ludger Wößmann, 41, the Gossen Prize. Wößmann has provided new insights into the impact of education, according to a statement by the Association of German Economists (Verein für Socialpolitik) made in Hamburg, where the prize worth 10,000 euros was awarded. Wößmann’s research into the determining factors of the returns on education, the importance of education for the economy by international comparison, and its influence on development processes has attracted a great deal of attention in the fields of empirical labour economics, education research and the history of economics. Details

  19. Ifo President Hans-Werner Sinn Receives Two Awards

    Sep 8, 2014: Ifo President Hans-Werner Sinn has received awards from the German Association of Economists (Verein für Socialpolitik) and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. On Sunday evening Sinn was awarded the Association’s newly created Gustav Schmoller Medal. At the Association’s annual meeting in Hamburg its Chairman, Michael C. Burda, said: “Hans-Werner Sinn’s term of office as Chairman (1997-2000) was a period of major innovation for the German Association of Economists. With the new versions of the Association’s publications, the introduction of the innovative lecture prize programme for junior economists who present their work at international conferences and the first edition of the Gossen prize, Sinn gave the Association crucial impulses that had, and will continue to have a lasting influence on our society.” These measures have made a significant contribution to the internationalisation of German economics. Details

  20. The Ifo Institute Mourns Former President Karl Heinrich Oppenländer

    Sep 5, 2014: The Ifo Institute mourns its former president Karl Heinrich Oppenländer, who passed away on August 29 at the age of 82 years. Prof. Dr. Oppenländer was President of the Ifo Institute from 1976 to 1999. He then served for six years as a member of the Ifo Board of Trustees. He began his career at the Institute as an economist in 1958. His specialty was business-cycle and economic growth research. Prof. Oppenländer helped establish the reputation of Germany’s most important leading indicator, the Ifo Business Climate Index. As president, he was the driving force behind the founding of the Dresden Branch of the Ifo Institute in 1993. He bore the German Federal Cross of Merit 1st Class, the Bavarian Order of Merit and held an honorary doctorate from the Russian Academy of Sciences. Details

  21. Agri-Food in TTIP: EU exports and imports could grow fast

    Sep 4, 2014: If TTIP fully eliminates all tariffs and reduces non-tariff barriers by 25 percent across all sectors, EU agri-food exports could go up, on average, by about 60 percent. Imports could swell by 120 percent. This would effectively neutralize the current EU surplus of 6 billion euros. These calculations are presented in a new Ifo report to the EU Parliament. “While impressive in relative terms, the absolute amount of trade creation by TTIP in the agri-food sector is, however, low, compared to the manufacturing or services sectors”, says Prof. Gabriel Felbermayr, director of the Ifo Center for International Economics. EU agri-food exports to the US represent currently 15 billion euros, which is only 4 percent of all EU exports to the US. Details

  22. Ifo President Sinn sees no effect in rate cut and criticizes bond purchases by ECB

    Sep 4, 2014: For Ifo President Hans-Werner Sinn, the European Central Bank’s surprising interest-rate cuts from 0.15 percent to 0.05 percent will have no effect. Details

  23. Credit Constraint Indicator - From the Ifo Business Survey for August 2014

    Financing Conditions in Germany Continue to be Excellent

    Aug 29, 2014: German companies continue to have easy access to bank loans. The credit constraint indicator for German industry and trade fell in August to 17.9 percent, compared with 18.2 percent the previous month. The credit constraint indicator has now been below the 20% mark for 16 months. Financing conditions for German firms continue to be excellent. Details

  24. German manufacturing planned to invest nine percent more

    Aug 28, 2014: The manufacturing sector in Germany intended to increase its investment by almost nine percent this year. This was the result produced by the investment survey of the Ifo Institute of 2,400 companies that was conducted in April and May of this year. In the meantime, the Ifo Business Climate Index has fallen several times. Against this background it remains to be seen whether the ambitious investment plans in manufacturing for 2014 will be fully realised. Last year, investment in manufacturing grew by only one percent to 55 billion euros. Here, the manufacturers also initially had larger plans of about four percent growth, as the Ifo Institute reports in its ifo Schnelldienst 16/2014 on Thursday. Details

  25. Results of the Ifo Business Survey for August 2014

    Renewed Worsening of the Ifo Business Climate for Eastern Germany

    Aug 28, 2014: The Ifo Business Climate Index for industry and trade in the eastern German states fell in August from 109.0 in the previous month to 108.4 index points. The eastern German survey respondents are not as satisfied with their current situation as last month. The expectations for the future course of business, however, remain almost unchanged in August. The positive current state of the eastern German economy has become a bit cloudier in August. Details

  26. Ifo Employment Barometer - Results of the Ifo Business Survey for August 2014

    German Firms Show Increased Willingness to Hire Despite Geopolitical Crises

    Aug 27, 2014: Despite the geopolitical tension, German companies’ propensity to hire has strengthened. The Ifo Employment Barometer for Germany rose in August to 107.0 index points, after 106.0 in July. The main driver of this development was the service sector, which is mainly domestically oriented and thus less affected by global political events. Details

  27. Ifo Business Climate Germany - Results of the August 2014 Ifo Business Survey

    Ifo Business Climate Index in Further Decline

    Aug 25, 2014: The Ifo Business Climate Index for industry and trade in Germany fell in August to 106.3 points from 108.0 in the previous month. The firms were again less satisfied with their current business situation. Also with regard to the further course of business, they are more sceptical than in the previous month. The German economy continues to lose steam. Details

  28. Ifo World Economic Climate Brightens Slightly

    Aug 13, 2014: The Ifo Index for the world economy rose to 105.0 points from 102.3 points in the previous quarter. Both assessments of the current economic situation, as well as the economic outlook, improved somewhat versus April. World economic activity remains on the rise. The risks, however, have grown: almost three quarters of the WES experts surveyed believe that rising energy prices and supply shortages pose a moderate to high potential threat to the world economy. Details

  29. Advance results of the Ifo World Economic Survey (WES) of 3rd quarter 2014

    Ifo Economic Climate in the Euro Area Clouds Over

    Aug 6, 2014: The Ifo Index for the economic climate in the euro area fell from 123.0 points to 118.9 points in the third quarter. While assessments of the current economic situation remained unchanged at a low level, the six-month economic outlook deteriorated significantly. The experts surveyed fear rising energy prices and falling exports due to the Ukraine conflict. Details

  30. Credit Constraint Indicator - From the Ifo Business Survey for July 2014

    German Companies Continue to Enjoy Very Easy Access to Bank Loans

    Jul 31, 2014: Credit constraints for German industry fell slightly to 18.2 percent from 18.3 percent in June. As in recent months, financing conditions for German business were excellent. Details

  31. Latest Book by Hans-Werner Sinn Released

    Jul 31, 2014: The Euro Trap, the latest book by Hans-Werner Sinn, President of the Ifo Institute, has been released today by Oxford University Press. Based on his German best-seller Die Target-Falle, the new book is a significantly restructured, expanded and updated analysis of the genesis and evolution of the euro crisis, providing new insights into the economic dimensions of the measures taken to combat the crisis, those that should have been pursued instead, and those that will have to be taken to really help southern Europe to exit the crisis. Details

  32. Ifo Investment Survey for Wholesaling: Investments and Turnover on the Rise

    Jul 30, 2014: German wholesalers plan to increase their investment budget compared to last year, according to the results of the Ifo Investment Survey for Wholesaling. According to survey participants, they plan to invest more in both construction and equipment; and to increase their staff numbers. Details

  33. Results of the Ifo Business Survey for July 2014

    Ifo Business Climate for Eastern Germany deteriorates

    Jul 30, 2014: The Ifo Business Climate for Eastern German trade and industry deteriorated markedly in July. Eastern German survey participants are less satisfied with their current business situation than last month. They are also more cautious about future business developments. The Eastern German economy can no longer escape the impact of international tensions. Details

  34. Ifo Employment Barometer - Results of the Ifo Business Survey for July 2014

    German Companies Still Cautious About Recruiting

    Jul 29, 2014: German companies are still looking for staff, but remain fairly cautious about recruiting. The Ifo Employment Barometer for German industry, including the service sector, was unchanged in July at 106.0 index points. The increase in employment remains fairly sluggish. Service providers remain most willing to recruit additional staff. Details

  35. EU Should Couple Short-Term Sanctions against Russia with Long-Term Integration Policy

    Jul 25, 2014: After the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Eastern Ukraine on 17 July, the EU is expected to broaden its selective sanctions against Russia. The USA has already toughened up its sanction policy. Yet Ifo’s analysis of past experiences with economic sanctions suggests that there is little prospect of achieving a lasting de-escalation of the situation in Eastern Ukraine by implementing further sanctions against Russia. Details

  36. Ifo Business Climate Germany - Results of the July 2014 Ifo Business Survey

    Ifo Business Climate Index Continues to Fall

    Jul 25, 2014: The Ifo Business Climate Index for industry and trade in Germany fell to 108.0 points in July from 109.7 points last month. This marks the third decrease in succession. Assessments of the current business situation were less favourable than in June. Companies were also less optimistic about future business developments. Geopolitical tensions are taking their toll on the German economy. Details

  37. The Moderate Recovery Continues

    Jul 4, 2014: The Eurozone growth is expected to recover in Q2 2014 with GDP increasing by +0.3% (after +0.2% in the previous quarter). Growth rates are forecasted to remain at this level in Q3 and Q4. The recovery is expected to be broad based across sectors and countries. Details

  38. Economic Developments Remain Strong - Ifo Economic Forecast for Eastern Germany and Saxony 2014/2015

    Jul 3, 2014: The economy in Eastern Germany (including Berlin) and Saxony picked up significantly at the beginning of the year; and this upswing will gather impetus over the forecasting period. Eastern German GDP is expected to rise sharply hitting 1.8 percent in 2014 and 2.0 percent in 2015. “Investors and producers are slightly more pessimistic due to the geopolitical unrest in Ukraine and Iraq”, commented Robert Lehmann, a researcher at the Dresden branch of the Ifo Institute on 3 July. “All of the data nevertheless point to an upturn in both years,” he added. Details

Press contact

Harald Schultz

Ifo Institute
Press, Publications, Conferences
Phone: +49(0)89/9224-1218
Fax: +49(0)89/9224-1267

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