Research
Real estate market | Real estate price | Real Estate Services | Housing market | Housing stock
The map shows the housing vacancy rates in the municipalities in Germany.

While rising housing prices in large cities are currently a popular topic for discussion in Germany, there are an increasing number of homes in rural and peripheral areas being left vacant. This is particularly, though not exclusively, the case in the East German states. A decisive factor for high numbers of empty properties is often a struggling local economy. Vacant housing in turn exerts pressure on property prices in the surrounding area. These are the findings of a current discussion paper of the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) in Mannheim. The study is part of the interdisciplinary research project "Single-Family Homes under Pressure (Homes-uP)", which is funded by the Leibniz Association.

Events
Anniversary | ZEW | Leibniz Association
ZEW celebrates its 25th anniversary with a ceremony.

The Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), a member institution of the Leibniz Association, is celebrating its 25th birthday today! "ZEW has been conducting research at the highest level for 25 years. Alongside this, it also aims to advise, assist and shape economic policy. This combination of excellence and the institute's public orientation is something very special," said Baden-Württemberg Minister for Science Theresia Bauer at the anniversary celebration in Mannheim. Around 300 guests, including friends, patrons and partners of the institute both past and present took up the invitation issued by ZEW's Board of Directors to celebrate a quarter of a century of excellent research and policy advice at ZEW.

China Economic Panel
China | Cyclical indicator | Short-term forecast | Greater China | Business survey | China Economic Panel
 The CEP Indicator has increased by 5.1 points in November 2016 to a current total of 5.0 points.

The latest survey carried out in November (14–30 November 2016) indicates that expectations for the Chinese economy continue to improve. The CEP Indicator, which reflects the expectations of international financial market experts regarding China’s macroeconomic development over the coming twelve months, has increased by 5.1 points to a current total of 5.0 points.

Dates and News
Market design | Leibniz Association | ZEW | Anniversary
In 2016 ZEW celebrates its 25th anniversary.

On 8 December 2016, the Mannheim-based Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) will hold a ceremony to celebrate its 25th anniversary. In 1991 the institute opened its doors with only a small team of employees. Today, 25 years later, ZEW has become one of the leading economic research institutes in Germany and Europe. Though only established relatively recently, the economic research institution has become an unparalleled success.

Comment
Private pension | Public pension system | Pensions policy | Pension finance | Bond Market | Old-age security | Aging population

Yesterday, the federal government published its "Old-Age Security Report 2016". According to the report, it is crucial that people in Germany make additional private retirement provision for old age, since the pension level will decrease significantly in light of the demographic change. This presents particular risks for persons with low incomes. Prof. Dr. Andreas Peichl, head of the Research Group "International Distribution and Redistribution" at the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), argues in favour of a change of system in order to guarantee retirement incomes in the future.

Research
Leibniz Association | Evaluation | ZEW
ZEW in Mannheim city has achieved a rating of very good to excellent as part of a regular external evaluation by the Leibniz Association.

The Mannheim-based Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) has achieved a rating of very good to excellent as part of a regular external evaluation to which all institutions within the Leibniz Association must submit themselves at least once every seven years. On the basis of this result, the Senate of the Leibniz Association has made the decision to recommend further federal and state funding for the institution. In the words of the Senate, "ZEW's work deals with the conditions of many high-functioning markets and institutions in Europe. Using a wide variety of methods, the institute conducts research into current and relevant issues. In doing so, it draws upon, among other things, an impressive bank of empirical data compiled by ZEW itself, which the institute makes accessible through an accredited research data centre. Based on its research results, ZEW is also able to provide comprehensive, high-quality economic policy advising."

Research
Enterprise | Trend | Niche market | Middle class | Innovation
In order to maintain their success, SMEs must maximise their ability to innovate and adapt to constant changes.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Germany rely on specialisation and finding niches in the market. This continues to be a model for success in the future. Markets and products are, however, subject to constant change. In order to maintain their success, SMEs must maximise their ability to strategize. This is the finding of a new study carried out by the Centre for European Economics Research (ZEW) and Prognos, on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy.

Research
Enterprise | Information Services | Crowdworking
The share of businesses actually using crowdworking is well below 5 per cent.

Crowdworking – i.e. the allocation of usually internal business tasks and projects via online platforms to external workers, who are paid to perform those tasks – has become a well-known concept among German businesses in the manufacturing industry and information economy. The share of businesses actually using crowdworking platforms, however, is very small – well below 5 per cent. Compared to the results of the first survey conducted on that issue in 2014, this figure has remained almost unchanged. This is the result of a representative survey among businesses carried out by the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS) in September 2016.

Research
The Future Working World | World of work | Corporate performance | Digitisation
On behalf of acatech, ZEW and IAB investigated the extent to which German businesses currently make use of Industry 4.0 technologies and how these technologies are changing task profiles.

The progressing digitalisation is changing the competency and qualification requirements of employees among businesses in the manufacturing and services sector: employees are increasingly expected to adapt to the changed processes in the working world 4.0. At the same time, businesses consider the German educational system flexible enough to adapt to the changing requirements of the digital era. These are the findings of a recent representative survey among businesses conducted by the Centre for Economic Research (ZEW), Mannheim, in collaboration with the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) in Nürnberg, on behalf of the National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech).

CH Indicator of Economic Sentiment
Business survey | Cyclical indicator | Short-term forecast | Switzerland | ZEW-CS-Indicator
The ZEW-CS Indicator for the economic sentiment in Switzerland has risen for the third consecutive time to a current reading of 8.9 points.

The ZEW-CS Indicator for the economic sentiment in Switzerland continues to improve in November 2016. Compared to the previous month, it increased by 3.7 points to a current reading of 8.9 points. This marks the third successive rise of the indicator. In contrast, the assessment of the current economic situation in Switzerland deteriorates: the corresponding indicator declines by 3.2 points to a level of 14.7 points. Almost three quarters of the surveyed experts expect the economic development to remain unchanged within the next six months. Furthermore, a large majority of 85 per cent of the respondents considers the current economic situation to be normal.

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