Dates and News
Health | Bundesversicherungsamt | ZEW |

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
CO2 emission | CO2 | Climate policy

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 and 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
Information Services | Germany | Business survey

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 Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), Mannheim, in December 2016.

Research
Innovation | Telecommunications | Computer services | Telecommunications research
German ICT service providers are planning to increase their innovation budgets considerably until 2017.

German IT and telecommunication service providers are planning to increase their innovation budgets considerably until 2017. In 2015, innovation spending in the ICT service sector, which includes telecommunications, software, data processing and information services, reached a total of 11.9 billion euros. Compared to the previous year, innovation expenditure has increased by 1.2 billion euros. Innovation expenditure in the ICT service sector is set to increase further to 13.1 billion euros in 2016, and shall reach 14.4 billion euros in 2017. As a result, ICT service providers could experience a 35 per cent increase in their innovation budgets in the space of only three years. These are the findings of the latest Sector Report on Innovation in the IT Services and Telecommunications Sector by the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) in Mannheim. The report is based on the German Innovation Survey conducted annually by ZEW on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

China Economic Panel
China Economic Panel | Business survey | Greater China | Short-term forecast | Cyclical indicator | China
In January, the CEP Indicator is at a of minus 5.9 points.

In the most recent January survey (conducted between 3 and 17 January 2017), business expectations for China have declined. The CEP Indicator, which reflects the expectations of international financial market experts regarding China’s macroeconomic development over the coming twelve months, has dropped by 10.9 points compared to November 2016 to a current total of minus 5.9 points. This falls far below the current long-term average of 5.1 points. The assessment of the current economic situation is more positive: at 2.4 points, the corresponding indicator is currently 7.6 points higher compared to November 2016.

Comment
Brexit | United Kingdom | Single European market | European Union
The United Kingdom intends to leave the European single market.

The British Prime Minister Theresa May has set the course for the Brexit negotiations and announced that the United Kingdom intends to leave the European single market. Furthermore, May has committed to renegotiate Britain's membership in the European customs union and to define own rules with respect to immigration policy. Professor Achim Wambach, President of the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), comments on Great Britain's Brexit strategy.

ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment
Business Cycle | Cyclical indicator | Short-term forecast | Germany | Business survey | ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment
ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment for Germany, January 2017

The ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment for Germany has increased slightly in January 2017. The index has improved by 2.8 points compared to December, now standing at 16.6 points. "The slight increase of the ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment is mainly due the improved economic situation across European countries. The fairly good preliminary figures recorded for the development of the German GDP last year, as well as for the industrial production of the eurozone in November 2016, came as a surprise to many. This improvement in expectations can thus also be seen as a leap of faith for 2017," comments ZEW President Professor Achim Wambach.

China Economic Barometer
ZEW-PwC Indicator of Economic Sentiment China | China | Short-term forecast | Greater China | Business Cycle

At the start of 2017 executives at German companies in China are looking to the future with renewed optimism. Forecasts for the Chinese economy over the next twelve months have continued to improve slightly. The expected economic growth rate has jumped by 0.5 up to 1.6 points, much higher than the previous average of -5.1 points from when the survey began in the third quarter of 2013. These are the findings of the current ZEW-PwC China Economic Barometer, a survey carried out by the Mannheim-based Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) together with the accounting and consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). 31 executives at German companies in China took part in the survey in December 2016.

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