China Economic Panel
China Economic Panel | Business survey | Greater China | Short-term forecast | Cyclical indicator | China
In February, the CEP Indicator is at a of minus 4.2 points.

According to the current survey for February (conducted between 31 January 2017 and 17 February 2017), the economic outlook for China has improved slightly. The CEP Indicator, which reflects the expectations of international financial market experts regarding China’s macroeconomic development over the coming twelve months, has risen by 1.7 points compared to the previous month to a current total of minus 4.2 points. This falls far below the current long-term average of 4.8 points.

Research
ZEW-Energiemarktbarometer | Energy source | Energy market | Energy Policy | Energy pricing policy
Trend towards higher prices for all energy sources, with particularly electricity, crude oil and natural gas expected to become more expensive.

The price of almost all energy sources is set to rise over the next five years. While electricity, crude oil and natural gas are expected to become more expensive, coal proves to be the exception, displaying a medium-term trend of stable to decreasing prices. In the short-term, that is until mid-2017, however, a more stable price structure is predicted for all energy sources. These are the central findings of the ZEW Energy Market Barometer, a biannual survey conducted among approximately 200 energy market experts by the Mannheim Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW).

Events
Young Economic Summit | Pupils | Germany | ZEW
YES! is a joint project of the German National Library of Economics (ZBW) – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics and the Joachim Herz Stiftung.

The "YES! – Young Economic Summit", an economics competition involving schools from six different federal states in Germany, will be launched soon. This year, YES! is working together with new scientific partners from the Leibniz Association, namely the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) and the GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies. The "YES! – Young Economic Summit" is expanding from its base in North Germany to become a nationwide programme. This year, 22 teams from Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg, Saarland, Rhineland-Palatinate, Hesse and Baden-Württemberg will compete. There are plans for "YES!" to become a nationwide competition with 50 schools from every federal state in Germany taking part in the project by 2019. YES! is the biggest annual conference for school students in the field of economics in Germany.

Information Economy
Social networks | Information Services | Media usage | Germany | Social Media
Social media offer a cheap medium through which companies can communicate and interact with various stakeholders.

There is a wide variety of possible ways for companies to use social media to bring them greater market success. However, many of these companies are still not exploiting the potential of social media to the fullest, for example, when it comes to improving their products and services. The fact that these opportunities are going to waste is alarming considering that one in every two companies in the information economy active on social media already expects the role that social media plays in a business' success to continue to increase in importance over the next two years. By contrast, only around a quarter of these companies view social media as currently playing a very important role in a company's success. These are the findings of a recent survey carried out among companies in the German information economy by the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) in Mannheim.

ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment
Business Cycle | Cyclical indicator | Short-term forecast | Germany | Business survey | ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment
Graph for the ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment: The ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment for Germany records a decrease of 6.2 points in February 2017. The indicator now stands at 10.4 points.

The ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment for Germany records a decrease of 6.2 points in February 2017. The indicator now stands at 10.4 points. "The downturn in expectations is likely to be the result of the recently published unfavourable figures for industrial production, retail sales and exports. Political uncertainty regarding Brexit, the future US economic policy as well as the considerable number of upcoming elections in Europe further depresses expectations. Nevertheless, the economic environment in Germany has not significantly worsened," comments ZEW President Professor Achim Wambach.

Dates and News
| ZEW | Bundesversicherungsamt | Health

ZEW President Professor Achim Wambach has been appointed new member of the Federal Insurance Office's Scientific Advisory Board for the Further Development of the Risk Structure Compensation Scheme. He is appointed to the Board to help develop an evaluation report regarding the Risk Structure Compensation Scheme. His appointment by the Federal Ministry of Health runs from 1 February 2017 until 30 September 2017.

Research
Climate policy | CO2 | CO2 emission

At the Paris Climate Change Conference in 2015, the international community made the unanimous decision to limit global warming to no more than two degrees Celsius. The enthusiasm from Paris was still very much in evidence at the Marrakech Conference, where a number of states made a concrete commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, the US election has created uncertainty over the USA's future role in climate policy. The most recent report from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy's Academic Advisory Board provides a medium-term outlook on how further climate negotiations could lead to effective climate protection.

Research
OECD | Tax avoidance | Corporate taxation | Tax fairness | Tax planning | EU Commission
The OECD and the EU Commission consider it necessary to increase transparency in financial reporting.

The aggressive tax planning efforts of multinational companies such as Google, Apple or Amazon that are aimed at effectively reducing corporate tax burdens have been the subject of public discussion for several years now. In order to combat such aggressive strategies and increase transparency in financial reporting, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the European Commission have proposed something called Country-by-Country-Reporting (CbCR). Through CbCR, policy-makers intend to oblige multinational companies to disclose certain country-specific tax-related information. However, a recent study carried out by the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) in Mannheim shows that a CbCR is not an effective means for combatting aggressive tax planning.

Comment
Federal Reserve Bank | Interest rate policy | Interest Rate

The US Federal Reserve System (Fed) left its key interest rate unchanged, in a range of 0.50 percent to 0.75 per cent, in its most recent policy meeting. In December 2016, the US central bank had raised its benchmark interest rate by 0.25 per cent. Professor Friedrich Heinemann, head of the ZEW Research Department "Corporate Taxation and Public Finance" at the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), comments on the Fed's decision.

Information Economy
Business survey | Germany | Information Services

Companies in the information economy are kicking off 2017 in a positive economic mood, as indicated by the ZEW sentiment indicator for this sector, which reached 67.1 points in the fourth quarter of 2017. Though the indicator fell below that of the previous quarter by 1.8 points, the consistently high value signals a positive climate among the majority of firms within the information economy. This is the result of a survey among companies in the German information economy, conducted by the Mannheim Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) in December 2016.

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