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Press releases in the past quarter

  1. Capital Flight from Greece Accelerates Dramatically

    Feb 27, 2015: Capital flight from Greece accelerated dramatically in January. Last month Greece’s Central Bank asked the other central banks in the Eurozone, as well as the ECB head office, to fill foreign bank accounts with a net sum of almost 27 billion euros. The Eurosystem thus effectively granted Greece over a billion euros per working day in additional overdraft credit. This was revealed by the latest figures released by the Greek central bank, reported the Ifo Institute on Friday in Munich. “To prevent a replay of events in Cyprus in 2012, the ECB should force the Greek government to introduce capital controls by refusing to grant more fresh emergency liquidity assistance,” said Ifo President Hans-Werner Sinn. Details

  2. Credit Constraint Indicator - From the Ifo Business Survey for February 2015

    Credit Constraints Hit Historic Low Once Again

    Feb 27, 2015: Credit constraints for German companies fell to 16.2 percent in February from 17.1 percent last month, taking them 0.9 percentage points below the historic low reached in January. The flood of money expected from the European Central Bank seems to be encouraging banks to further ease their already loose credit constraints. Details

  3. Results of the Ifo Business Survey for February 2015

    Ifo Business Climate Index for Eastern German Länder Remains on the Rise

    Feb 26, 2015: The Ifo Business Climate for the Eastern German Länder improved for the third month in succession. The satisfaction of Eastern German companies with their current business situation rose markedly this month. Survey participants in Eastern Germany are also no longer as pessimistic about future business developments as previously. The pace of positive developments in the Eastern German economy picked up. Details

  4. Ifo Employment Barometer - Results of the Ifo Business Survey for February 2015

    German Firms Recruit Fewer Staff

    Feb 25, 2015: German firms proved slightly less willing to recruit new staff this month. The Ifo Employment Barometer fell to 106.8 index points in February from 108.1 index points in January. There were setbacks in the service sector and a growing number of bright spots in manufacturing. Details

  5. 2015 EEAG Report on the European Economy

    Feb 24, 2015: • World GDP to grow by 3.5 percent in 2015 • US GDP to expand by 3.2 percent, while Russia falls into recession • European Union and Eurozone GDP to grow by 1.3 and 0.9 percent respectively • A unified energy market should be established in the European Union Details

  6. Ifo Export Expectations - Results of the Ifo Business Survey for February 2015

    German Manufacturers Increasingly Optimistic about Exports

    Feb 24, 2015: Exports are providing further impetus to German manufacturing. The Ifo Export Expectations rose to 11.9 balance points in February from 9.5 points in January. German exporters continue to benefit from the low euro exchange rate. Details

  7. Ifo Business Climate Germany - Results of the February 2015 Ifo Business Survey

    Ifo Business Climate Index Edges Upwards

    Feb 23, 2015: The Ifo Business Climate Index for industry and trade in Germany rose to 106.8 points in February from 106.7 points last month. Satisfaction with the current business situation decreased somewhat, but companies expressed greater confidence in future business developments. The German economy is proving robust in the face of geopolitical uncertainty. Details

  8. Ifo President Sinn criticises Ecofin decisions

    Feb 22, 2015: Ifo President Hans-Werner Sinn has criticised the decision taken by the Eurozone Finance Ministers on Greece. “Additional cash is nothing more than a painkiller for the Greek disease and will not help to cure it”, said Sinn on Saturday in Munich. “The euro made Greece too expensive and it has to become cheaper to regain competitiveness. This can only happen if Greece exits the Eurozone and devalues the drachma.” Details

  9. Ifo Viewpoint No. 162: Europe’s Shadow Budget

    Feb 20, 2015: More details about the European Commission’s 315 billion euros investment plan for 2015–2017 have finally come to light. The program, announced by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in November, amounts to a massive shadow budget, twice as large as the European Union’s annual official budget, that will finance public investment projects and ultimately help governments circumvent debt limits established in the Stability and Growth Pact. Details

  10. Ifo Viewpoint No. 161: The Case for Capital Controls

    Feb 19, 2015: Capital flight out of Greece is in full swing. People are hoarding euro cash under the mattress, squirrelling it away or packing it into suitcases to bring it out of the country. Most of all, wealthy Greeks, banks and international investors are issuing payment orders to banks abroad, as long as this is still possible. In December 2014 alone a net 7.6 billion euros, equivalent to 4.1 percent of Greek GDP, was transferred abroad, generating the largest rise in Greece’s Target liabilities to the European Central Bank (ECB) since May 2011. The exodus of capital must have increased significantly as the new year started, spurred by the latest election results, and in particular now, after the new Greek government met a cool response in every European capital to its demands for more fresh money. Details

  11. Ifo World Economic Climate Remains Almost Unchanged

    Feb 12, 2015: The Ifo Index for the world economy edged upwards to 95.9 points after tumbling to 95.0 points last quarter. The improvement in the world economic climate was entirely due to slightly more positive economic expectations. Assessments of the current economic situation remained at last quarter’s level. Overall, the world economy showed little dynamism, but there are significant regional differences. Details

  12. Record Jump of German Target Claims

    Feb 6, 2015: The Target claims on the Eurosystem held by the German Bundesbank jumped by 54 billion euros in January, reaching 515 billion euros. This is one of the largest increases since the onset of the financial and euro crises; only in September 2011 and March 2012 were the upsurges higher, with 59 billion and 69 billion euros, respectively. “Behind this is most likely a massive capital flight from Greece”, said Ifo President Hans-Werner Sinn. Foreign investors and well-heeled Greeks appear to have whisked their capital to safe havens abroad, spooked by the increased insecurity regarding Greece’s solvency and its permanence in the Eurozone resulting from the outcome of the country’s latest election. Details

  13. Advance results of the Ifo World Economic Survey (WES) of 1st quarter 2015

    Ifo Economic Climate in the Euro Area Brightens

    Feb 5, 2015: The Ifo Index for the economic climate in the euro area rose to 112.7 points in the first quarter from 102.3 points last quarter. It is now above its long-term average of 106.1 points. Assessments of both the current economic situation and of the six-month economic outlook brightened. There are signs of an economic recovery in the euro area. Experts expect to see a price increase of 0.7% in 2015 and an annual inflation rate of around 1.6% over the next three to five years. Details

  14. Germany’s Capital Exports Hit New High

    Feb 2, 2015: Germany achieved a new world record in capital exports in 2014, according to calculations by the Ifo Institute. Its current account surplus increased by around 30 billion euros to almost 220 billion euros, which corresponds to 7.5% of economic output. This development was driven by the trade balance. Other items of the current accounts (like services and income from interest) had a slightly negative impact overall, with the low interest rate policy pursued by the European Central Bank sharply curbing Germany’s foreign revenues. Details

  15. Credit Constraint Indicator - From the Ifo Business Survey for January 2015

    Credit Constraints Fall to Historic Low

    Jan 30, 2015: Credit constraints for German companies fell to 17.1 percent in January from 17.4 percent last month. This marks a new historical low. The financing conditions for German companies remain excellent at the beginning of 2015. The drop in credit constraints reflects the inflationary flood of money that banks expect from the European Central Bank. Details

  16. Results of the Ifo Business Survey for January 2015

    Ifo Business Climate for Eastern Germany Starts the Year Cautious, but Positive

    Jan 29, 2015: The Ifo Business Climate Index for the Eastern German Länder rose only slightly at the beginning of the year. The improvement in the business climate was due to better assessments of the current business situation on the part of Eastern German companies. In terms of business expectations, by contrast, Eastern German survey participants are somewhat more pessimistic. The recovery seen in the Eastern German economy in the fourth quarter of 2014 continued at the beginning of 2015. Details

  17. Ifo Export Expectations - Results of the Ifo Business Survey for January 2015

    Export Outlook for German Manufacturing Continues to Brighten

    Jan 28, 2015: German manufacturers expect exports to rise. The Ifo Export Expectations rose for the fourth time in succession in January to 9.5 balance points from 7.7 balance points in December. Exports, which were already very high, were given an additional boost by the sharp drop in the euro exchange rate. Details

  18. Ifo Employment Barometer - Results of the Ifo Business Survey for January 2015

    German Firms Step Up Search for Extra Staff

    Jan 28, 2015: The economic upturn is prompting a growing number of German firms to look for additional staff. The Ifo Employment Barometer rose to 108.2 index points in January from 106.6 points in December, reaching its highest value since March 2012. Service providers remain the main driver behind this development. Details

  19. Ifo Business Climate Germany - Results of the January 2015 Ifo Business Survey

    Ifo Business Climate Index Continues to Rise

    Jan 26, 2015: The Ifo Business Climate Index for industry and trade in Germany rose to 106.7 points in January from 105.5 points last month, marking its third successive increase. Companies were far more satisfied with their current business situation and the majority was also optimistic about the business outlook. The German economy makes a good start to the year. Details

  20. Ifo Institute Investigates TTIP’s Potential Impact on Third Countries

    Jan 23, 2015: TTIP will not only affect its negotiation partners, but will also potentially impact developing and emerging economies. On the one hand, higher income in the EU and the USA will increase demand for goods and services in third countries, which should benefit them. On the other hand, the agreement can be expected to divert trade flows from TTIP partners away from third countries, which will be detrimental to them. In a new study commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Ifo Institute in Munich and the IAW Tübingen jointly explore how threats to emerging countries can be minimised and opportunities can be maximised, to turn the agreement into the basis for a new and fair world trading system. Details

  21. Ifo President Sinn Criticises ECB Decision

    Jan 22, 2015: Ifo President Hans-Werner Sinn has criticised the quantitative easing decisions of the European Central Bank. “This is tantamount to illegal government financing through the money-printing press. If the ECB buys sovereign bonds, the governments will issue new bonds, in effect drawing their funding from the printing press. This is prohibited by Article 123 of the EU Treaty and would require clearing by the German Constitutional Court,” said Sinn in Munich. Details

  22. Ifo Institute Changes Seasonal Adjustment in Business Climate Index

    Jan 16, 2015: The Ifo Institute is changing the seasonal adjustment procedure in its Business Climate Index to improve the filtering out of seasonal fluctuations. This should have a significant impact on the results for the construction sector, and particularly on the business expectations component. The effects on most other numbers are small. The newly calculated Ifo Business Climate Index remains at 105.5 for December 2015. The revised business situation index is now at 109.8 (old procedure: 110.0) and the revised expectations are at 101.4 (old procedure: 101.1). Figures that show significant working day effects will also be subject to an additional working-day adjustment. The downward movement in the business climate index over the course of 2014 calculated according to the new adjustment method was almost identical to the results obtained for the procedure used to date. The increase that followed in November and December was also nearly the same when calculated using both methods. All of the time series will be newly calculated retrospectively according to the new procedure. Details

  23. Ifo President Sinn Criticises EU Advocate General on ECB Proceedings

    Jan 14, 2015: Ifo President Hans-Werner Sinn has criticised the statement by the EU Advocate General on the OMT proceedings against the European Central Bank (ECB). “This is tantamount to a carte blanche for the European Central Bank, provided that it justifies its behaviour,” said Sinn. Details

  24. Ifo President Sinn Fears Fresh Capital Flight from Italy

    Jan 12, 2015: Ifo President Hans-Werner Sinn sees signs of fresh capital flight from Italy. “In December 2014 alone 13 billion euros in net transfers were made from Italy to countries abroad via the European Target System. These transfers take the form of a kind of implicit overdraft credit to the Banca d’Italia issued by the European Central Bank,” says Sinn, citing the latest figures released by the Italian Central Bank. “Italy’s Target debt to the ECB System rose from July 2014 by 79 billion euros to 209 billion euros in December 2014. This latest increase is a sign of fresh capital flight from Italy, which is a clear indication that the euro crisis was only lying dormant and is by no means over.“ Details

  25. Euro Area Economy Expanding at a Slow Pace

    Jan 12, 2015: Economic growth in the euro area is expected to accelerate mildly, but remain weak. It will amount to 0.3 percent in the first and second quarters of 2015 respectively, following 0.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014, according to the latest forecast by the Ifo Institute (Munich), INSEE (Paris) and ISTAT (Rome). The average figures for 2015 disguise heterogeneity among countries: the institutes expect robust growth for Germany and Spain, moderate expansion in France and weak development in Italy. Details

  26. Ifo President Sinn Calls For International Debt Conference on Greece

    Jan 6, 2015: Ifo President Hans-Werner Sinn has called for an international debt conference on Greece. “Greece needs to get back on its feet economically and become competitive again. This calls for a devaluation of its currency, thus a temporary euro exit, which, in turn, calls for a haircut. All of this must be jointly decided upon and internationally coordinated”, said Sinn, citing the country’s miserable economic situation as justification for the proposal. “Unemployment in Greece is now twice as high as it was in May 2010. Industrial production has plunged by 30 percent compared to its pre-crisis level. The country is sitting in a trap. Internal depreciation via austerity programmes has failed.” Details

  27. Ifo Employment Barometer - Results of the Ifo Business Survey for December 2014

    A Whiff of Optimism in the German Employment Market

    Jan 2, 2015: As the year drew to a close, German companies were planning to recruit more staff. The Ifo Employment Barometer rose to 106.7 index points in December from 105.4 points in November. Service providers were once again the main driver behind this development. Details

  28. Credit Constraint Indicator - From the Ifo Business Survey for December 2014

    German Companies Enjoy Increasingly Easy Access to Bank Credit

    Dec 22, 2014: German companies can currently access bank credit without any major difficulties. Credit constraints for German trade and industry fell to 17.4 percent in December from 18.3 percent last month. This corresponds to the historical low reached in May 2014. As the year draws to a close, the financial environment for German firms therefore remains very good. In turbulent times German companies are seen as a safe harbour for investment capital. Details

  29. Results of the Ifo Business Survey for December 2014

    Ifo Business Climate for Eastern Germany Ends Year Brighter

    Dec 22, 2014: The Ifo Business Climate Index for the Eastern German Länder rose sharply in December. Assessments of the current situation by Eastern German survey participants remained good. Business expectations for the first six months of 2015 were markedly more favourable. As the year draws to a close, positive signals prevail in the Eastern German economy. Details

  30. Business Climate for German Architects Clouds Over Slightly

    Dec 19, 2014: The Ifo Business Climate for freelance architects clouded over slightly in the fourth quarter. It should, however, be noted that the climate usually deteriorates somewhat at the beginning of the last quarter of a year. Taking this seasonal effect into account, the business climate for architects can still be described as favourable. According to the survey, 53 percent of freelance architects signed new contracts in the course of the third quarter of 2014. This figure was slightly higher than the long-term average (50.5 percent), reports the Ifo Institute in its Schnelldienst 24/2014. Details

  31. Ifo Export Expectations - Results of the Ifo Business Survey for December 2014

    Export Outlook Continues to Improve for Manufacturing

    Dec 19, 2014: German manufacturing can look forward to rising exports. The Ifo Export Expectations rose to 7.0 balance points in December from 6.3 in November. This marks the third increase in succession. German exporters are benefiting from the falling euro exchange rate. The expected economic upturn will largely be driven by exports once again. Details

  32. Ifo President Sinn Demands Sweeping Reform of Inheritance Tax

    Dec 19, 2014: Ifo President Hans-Werner Sinn has spoken out in favour of a sweeping reform of inheritance tax. Details

  33. Ifo Business Climate Germany - Results of the December 2014 Ifo Business Survey

    Ifo Business Climate Index Continues to Rise

    Dec 18, 2014: The Ifo Business Climate Index for industry and trade in Germany rose to 105.5 points in December from 104.7 points last month. Positive assessments of the current business situation remained unchanged. The outlook for the months ahead continued to brighten. Dropping oil prices and a falling euro exchange rate are seasonal gifts to the German economy. Details

  34. Ifo Economic Forecast for Eastern Germany and Saxony 2014/2015

    Eastern German Economy Regains Footing

    Dec 17, 2014: Real gross domestic product in Eastern Germany (including Berlin) will grow by 1.3 percent in 2014 and 2015 respectively, according to the results of the Ifo Institute’s Economic Forecast for Eastern Germany and Saxony published today. Economic growth in the Free State of Saxony is even expected to be slightly higher in both years. “Companies adopted a cautious approach to investment over the summer months”, explains Prof. Dr. Joachim Ragnitz, Deputy Executive Director of the Dresden Branch of the Ifo Institute. “The Eastern German economy will resume growth in the year ahead, despite the headwind expected from the introduction of the minimum wage”. Details

  35. Free Trade with Canada Leads to Rise in Per Capita Income in Germany

    Dec 15, 2014: The planned EU free trade agreement with Canada (CETA) could triple Germany’s exports to the country and double imports from it in the long-term. CETA stands to generate 0.19 percent sustained, long-term growth in real per capita income in Germany, and 0.22 percent growth for the EU overall. Canada stands to benefit to even greater degree with 2.97 percent growth. Details

  36. German Leasing Sector Grows by 6.1 Percent in 2014

    Dec 12, 2014: New business in the German leasing sector will grow by 6.1 percent to 50.2 billion euros this year, according to the results of the Ifo Institute’s Business Survey published in its Schnelldienst. Details

  37. Public Urban Transport Strikes Have Drastic Impact on General Public

    Dec 12, 2014: Local public transport strikes lead to denser traffic, congestion, more accidents, greater air pollution and a higher incidence of the health problems caused by it, particularly for children. These are the results of new research by Helmut Rainer and Timo Hener of the Munich-based Ifo Institute, jointly conducted with Stefan Bauernschuster from the University of Passau. “We find that the negative impact on the urban population far exceeds the costs incurred by the companies whose employees go on strike”, noted Rainer. Details

  38. Ifo Institute Expects 1.5 Percent Growth in 2015 for Germany

    Dec 11, 2014: The Ifo Institute expects the German economy to gain impetus in 2015. Economic output will increase by 1.5 percent next year. According to its researchers, the recovery will be strongly boosted by consumption, which is expected to grow by 1.7 percent in 2015, following a 1.1 percent increase in 2014. "Falling oil prices and the slump in the euro exchange rate have helped to pull the economy out of the state of shock induced by the outbreak of the Ukraine crisis. Companies are now slightly more relaxed as they look to the future," said Prof. Sinn, President of the Ifo Institute, on Thursday in Munich. Details

  39. Preliminary Results of the Ifo Investment Survey of German Manufacturing

    German Manufacturers Plan to Invest Five Percent More in 2015

    Dec 8, 2014: German manufacturers plan to invest an additional five percent in 2015. These are the results of a preliminary evaluation of the on-going Ifo Investment Survey carried out for the European Union. Small and medium-sized companies in particular intend to increase their expenditure on new construction and equipment in the year ahead, while large companies are planning smaller increases. Responses have already been collected from around two thirds of the 2,300 firms participating in the survey. Details

  40. Minimum Wage: German Firms Plan Price Increases, Staff Cuts and Reductions in Working Hours

    Dec 4, 2014: German companies that will be affected by the minimum wage as of 1 January 2015 are planning to increase their prices (26 percent), reduce bonuses (23 percent), reduce their payrolls (22 percent), reduce working hours (18 percent), and scale back their investment activity (16 percent). That is the result of a recent survey conducted by the Ifo Institute, which was published on Thursday. Most companies are planning to implement a combination of these measures, and only 43 percent of the firms affected plan not to react at all. Details

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Harald Schultz

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

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