According to the current survey for May (2–17 May 2017), the economic outlook for China has declined significantly, falling by 17.8 points (April 2017: 17.7 points). The rather optimistic sentiment witnessed in the previous survey has thus faded somewhat. The CEP Indicator, which reflects the expectations of international financial market experts regarding China’s macroeconomic development over the coming twelve months, is currently at minus 0.1 points, falling below the long-term average of 5.2 points. The assessment of the current economic situation has also dampened and fell by 5.4 points to a current level of 12.2 points.
The ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment for Germany continued to increase in May 2017. Compared to the previous month, it climbed by 1.1 points to a current reading of 20.6 points. The long-term average of 23.9 points has not quite been reached yet. The assessment of the current economic situation in Germany also improved once again in May. The indicator climbed by 3.8 points to 83.9 points. Taken together, the assessment of the current situation and the economic sentiment show a positive outlook for the German economic growth in the coming six months. "The latest figures on the gross domestic product confirm that the German economy is in good shape. ZEW indicators have been pointing to this trend for some time. The prospects for the eurozone as a whole are gradually improving, further strengthening the economic environment for German exports," comments ZEW President Professor Achim Wambach.
In the presidential election in France, the French people voted for former Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron. Professor Achim Wambach, PhD, President of the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) in Mannheim comments:
It would be fair to say that the European Union and its institutions do not currently enjoy a reputation for making and implementing decisions quickly. When it came to the decision to create a European Fiscal Board (EFB) back in October 2015, however, the European Commission was relatively quick off the mark, with the EFB coming into operation just one year later. The responsibilities of this new advisory board include monitoring the implementation of the Fiscal Compact, working closely with the individual national fiscal boards and briefing the European Commission on the current state and future development of fiscal policy. But is the EFB carrying out its duties as independently as initially intended? Has the board proved itself effective in the first few months following its founding, or is it just yet another cog in the bureaucratic machine in Brussels? How significant a role should and indeed must the EFB assume in the future? These were the main questions up for discussion at the ZEW lunch debate on 27 April 2017 at the Representation of the State of Baden-Württemberg to the EU in Brussels.
In the recent past, the credibility of the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) has increasingly suffered from the European Commission's broad interpretation of SGP regulations. Up until now, political forbearance has prevented sanctions from being imposed according to the rules. The European Fiscal Board (EFB), which was set up by the EU Commission in 2016, offers opportunities for improvement. In cooperation with international research partners, the Mannheim Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) investigated how the EFB functions and made proposals how to strengthen the EFB in its role as an impartial counterpart to the European Commission. Today, these proposals were presented at the ZEW Lunch Debate entitled "Making the Most of the European Fiscal Board" in Brussels.