The ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment for Germany increased in October 2016. The index gained 5.7 points compared to the previous month, now standing at a level of 6.2 points (long-term average: 24.1 points). "The improved economic sentiment is a sign of a relatively robust economic activity in Germany. However, positive impulses from industry and exports should not distract from existing political and economic risks. In particular, the risks concerning the German banking sector are currently a burden to the economic outlook," comments ZEW President Professor Achim Wambach.
Expectations for the Chinese economy have again worsened in the current survey period (12/09/2016 – 28/09/2016). The CEP Indicator, which reflects the expectations of international financial market experts regarding China’s macroeconomic development over the coming twelve months, has slightly fallen by 2.2 points to a current negative reading of minus 4.1 points. The CEP Indicator therefore currently lies significantly below the long-term average of 5.5 points for the second consecutive time, seen in the period from mid 2013 to September 2016.
The Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE) and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation jointly organised this year's Beijing Humboldt Forum in the Chinese capital on September 17–18, 2016. As part of the forum, ZEW organised a session on "The Digitization of the Economy." During the session, ZEW researchers Professor Irene Bertschek and Dr. Fabienne Rasel engaged in a discussion with international guests regarding developments, implications and changes resulting from Industry 4.0 and the digitization of the economy.
In the past two decades the German Bundesliga has suffered from a reduced level of competition. One of the key factors for this development is the change in the players' mobility. As a result, there is an increasingly high number of top-performing players in extraordinarily good football teams. These teams tend to win more games, which leads to a reduced level of competition. This is the finding of a study carried out by the Mannheim Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW).
Between 2013 and 2015, four out of five small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Germany carried out projects aimed at increasing their level of digitisation. Digitisation is certainly not a new concept for SMEs. The majority of businesses, however, spent less than 10,000 euros per year on digitisation projects during this period. Businesses with an advanced level of digitisation invest more frequently in both technological projects and competencies related to digitisation than other firms. Only a small number of businesses are concerned about the risk of additional competitive pressure from start-ups or internet companies. These are the findings of a recent study conducted by the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), Mannheim, in collaboration with the infas Institute for Applied Social Sciences and the KfW Group.