Alongside families, pensioners will benefit the most financially from the planned reforms put forward by Germany’s potential new coalition government, the “Grand Coalition” made up of the CDU, CSU and SPD. If current positive economic trends continue until 2025, the age group to benefit the most from these reforms will be the over-65s, who will be on average 622 euros better off a year per household. Only if nursery school fees are completely scrapped will the 26 to 39 age bracket be better off than pensioners, seeing an increase in their annual household income of 743 euros. If the economic climate worsens, however, the 48 per cent limit for pensions will become more expensive, leading pensioner households to benefit the most with an additional 1,420 euros a year.
Merely half of the companies in the German information economy (consisting of the ICT sector as well as media and knowledge-intensive service providers) have so far dealt with the need to adapt to the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which will become binding for all businesses and government bodies operating in the EU in May 2018. Due to its high service intensity, the German information economy is likely to be particularly affected by the GDPR, and is thus increasingly coming under pressure to adapt to this new EU regulation. This is the result of a representative survey among approximately 700 companies in the German information economy with five or more employees, conducted by the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), Mannheim, in December 2017.
In the most recent survey conducted in February (24 January–7 February 2018) expectations for the Chinese economy have improved again, with the CEP indicator climbing to 14.7 points. This corresponds to an increase of 13.6 points compared to January, and an impressive hike of 25.4 points compared to December 2017. According to the CEP Indicator, which reflects the expectations of international financial market experts regarding China’s macroeconomic development over the coming twelve months, a significant improvement in the economic outlook for China has thus taken place since the end of last year.
National governments respond very differently to economic crises in terms of spending on research and development (R&D). This has created an innovation gap between the countries of Europe that is growing ever wider. This is the main finding of a study carried out by the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), Mannheim.
The ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment for Germany climbed 3.0 points in January 2018, currently standing at 20.4 points. The indicator thus still remains slightly below the long-term average of 23.7 points. The assessment of the current economic situation in Germany increased by 5.9 points, with the corresponding indicator currently standing at 95.2 points.