Research
Digital Economy | ICT | Sectoral business cycle | Sectoral development | Digitisation

The significance of the ICT (information and communication technologies) sector for the German economy has continued to grow, with gross value added in this sector rising by 3.8 per cent to 105 billion euros in 2016. With more than 1.1 million people employed in the German ICT sector, this branch of economy also appears to be a long-term job creator. These are the findings of the Monitoring Report DIGITAL Economy 2017, a report published regularly by the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), Mannheim, in cooperation with the market research institute Kantar TNS and commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi).

Research
DIFI Report | Real estate financing | Real estate market
Average assessment of the current situation in and expectations for the four real estate market segments (Office, Retail, Logistics, Residential)

The German Real Estate Finance Index (DIFI) run by ZEW and JLL climbed 7.3 points in the fourth quarter of 2017 to a current reading of 0.1 points, moving into positive territory for the first time this year. The assessment of the current financing situation for commercial real estate remained almost unchanged at 9.6 points compared to the previous quarter. The improved expectations for financing conditions in the coming six months can be seen in the context of the very positive economic outlook, which has been corrected upwards by various research institutes.

Research
Europe | Development Policy | Freight Transport | Railway Transport | Military budget | Nation state | Corporate taxation | EU educational policy | Common agricultural policy | Educational policy | Agricultural Policy | Unemployment insurance | Migration policy | European Union
Shifting responsibilities for certain policy areas from Brussels to the Member States and vice versa could save money and make policy decisions more efficient.

There are many different ideas about what the future of the EU should look like, but one particularly controversial issue is how the different powers and responsibilities within Europe should be divided between Brussels and the Member States. Reformers need to ask themselves, in which areas of policy do we need more Europe, and in which could we do with less? Where might the competencies of the national states in policy design be best put to use and where might a centralised decision-making process in Brussels prove more productive? A study carried out by the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), Mannheim, on behalf of the Bertelsmann Stiftung looking at the main areas of EU policy has found that shifting competencies in certain areas either to the Member States or to Brussels could save money and make the process of political decision-making in Europe more efficient.

Dates and News
Offshoring | Digitisation | Industry 4.0

On 5 December 2017, researchers from ZEW presented their research findings at the scientific forum WISSENSWERTE, which this year was held in Darmstadt. Among the researchers in attendance were Professor Irene Bertschek and Dr. Ulrich Zierahn, who discussed digitalisation in the workplace as well as the opportunities and challenges of Industry 4.0 at a number of different events held throughout the day.

Research
Private banking (Privatkundengeschäft) | Real estate | Securities investment | Consumers | Stockholding behaviour | Interest Rate | Savings | banking sector

Consumers in Germany are becoming increasingly used to the low interest rate environment. They are, however, still unwilling to accept negative interest on bank deposits. These are the findings of a recent survey on the influence of the low interest rate environment on the savings behaviour of bank customers. The survey was carried out by the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) in Mannheim on behalf of ING-DiBa AG.

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