The ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment for Germany fell considerably by 7.5 points in August 2017 and now stands at 10.0 points. The indicator thus remains significantly below the long-term average of 23.8 points. The assessment of the current economic situation in Germany increased slightly by 0.3 points in August. The corresponding indicator now stands at 86.7 points.
Increases in income among low-wage earners in Germany are more heavily taxed than that of top earners. This is due to the combination of a number of factors in the tax, contribution and transfer system. This is the result of a recent study carried out by the Mannheim Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) on behalf of the Bertelsmann Stiftung.
Companies with a high degree of digitalisation were less affected by the economic crisis of 2008 and 2009 than companies with a low digitalisation level. This holds particularly for companies in the service sector. These are the findings of a recent study carried out by the Mannheim Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW).
The price of the different energy sources is set to stagnate over coming six months. This is the result of the latest ZEW Energy Market Barometer, a survey carried out by the Mannheim Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) among energy market experts. The majority of the surveyed experts expect wholesale prices for electricity (71 per cent), crude oil (77 per cent), natural gas (81 per cent) and coal (79 per cent) to remain stable. The experts’ expectations are, however, quite different when it comes to the price development in the medium term. Around 75 per cent of the respondents anticipate increases in wholesale electricity prices in the upcoming five years. The survey shows similar expectations for global crude oil prices (67 per cent) and natural gas prices in Germany (63 per cent).
Corporate leniency programmes have become a vital instrument in the fight against cartels in many industrialised countries. Firms involved in cartels can benefit from such leniency programmes, which allow them to receive full or partial immunity from fines imposed by the Commission in exchange for providing evidence as a chief witness. Whether the fine is reduced or waived entirely depends on the quality of information provided and its value to the specific case. This programme can, however, create incentives for firms involved in price-fixing conspiracies to apply for leniency in exchange for providing evidence, as has been observed in the recent allegations of collusion among German car manufacturers. In an empirical study, the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), Mannheim, has investigated how leniency applicants differ from other cartel members who have been fined by the European Commission for cartel infringements.