The German market is the largest in Europe, attracting many of our clients. Germany has an export-driven economy, which places an even emphasis on services and production. The country offers a stable environment for investors, as well as access to the EU's domestic market. It is also world-renowned for its manufacturing in automotives, mechanical and electrical engineering, and chemicals. Our coverage – using our unique Total Analysis model – ensures that our clients make sound, risk-assessed decisions in Germany. We keep them informed of the latest market moves and political developments, supported by our interactive data and forecasting. They also benefit from in-depth analysis of 21 of Germany's most important industries, as part of our 'top-down' and 'bottom-up' perspective. It is our job to make it easier for you, as our client, to reap rewards in Germany.

Country Risk

Germany Country Risk

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Core Views

  • We have revised up our real GDP growth forecasts for Germany for 2015-16, with a decline in oil prices, European Central Bank (ECB) quantitative easing, and a weaker euro all likely to support economic activity. Nonetheless, we remain below-consensus on German growth over the longer run.

  • While we believe Germany's current account surplus has peaked, narrowing of the surplus over the next five years will be limited by tight fiscal policy, which will in turn hamper the regional economic recovery.

  • German energy policy will continue to drive significant structural economic imbalances. While attempts to shield industry from the cost of transition towards renewable energy resources will curtail consumption, German industrial competitiveness will eventually suffer from higher energy costs.

  • We...

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Germany Industry Coverage (21)

Agribusiness

Germany Agribusiness

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BMI View: German pork producers will come under pressure, owing to the ban on meat imports from Western countries that has been imposed by Russian authorities. On the other hand, sugar production should expand at a stronger pace over the coming years, owing to an increase in growing areas and yields, as well as the potential end to the EU's sugar production quota in 2017. Wheat output should also have a strong harvest in 2014/15, although there are some concerns about wheat quality owing to wet spells.

Key Forecasts

  • Milk production growth from 2013/14 to 2018/19: 21.0% to 37.1mn tonnes. Modest growth will be supported by export demand and higher prices, and held back by sluggish domestic consumption and the...

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Autos

Germany Autos

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In 2015, we expect to see further growth in vehicle sales in Germany, forecasting 2.6% growth over the full year. The market returned to growth in 2014 after a period of declining sales volumes, as private consumption and business confidence picked up. We expect this positive sentiment to continue over the coming year, although at a slower pace than in 2014.

In 2015, we forecast 1.2% growth in total vehicle production, to around 6.19mn units, on the back of modest growth in both the passenger car and commercial vehicle segments.

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Commercial Banking

Germany Commercial Banking

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Commercial Banking Sector Indicators
Date Total assets Client loans Bond portfolio Other Liabilities and capital Capital Client deposits

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Defence & Security

Germany Defence & Security

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BMI View: Germany possesses one of Europe's largest defence sectors. The country is a major exporter of materiel around the world. Germany enjoys a reputation as a reliable supplier of high-quality defence equipment and subsystems. This is particularly evident in the land and naval systems domain. Historically, the domestic demand for German armaments has been outstripped by export sales. Furthermore, since the end of the Cold War, domestic demand for materiel has contracted significantly as German politicians and defence planners have been quick to exploit the so-called 'peace dividend' by reducing the size of the armed forces.

However, following several years of defence expenditure reductions, Germany...

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Food & Drink

Germany Food & Drink

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BMI View: We have downgraded our outlook for Germany's food and drink sector on account of subdued private consumption, weak exports and a protracted economic slowdown. Between 2014 and 2019, total food consumption is forecast to expand by a compound annual growth rate of 3.6%. However, risks lie to the downside as the external environment in the eurozone and Ukraine remains tense, while the German economy is gradually losing its competitive edge. Our forecasts for real GDP growth are below consensus and private consumption is not expected to have a significant positive impact on growth.

Key Forecasts (local currency)

  • Total food consumption growth year-on-year (y-o-y) in 2015: +4.0%; compound annual growth rate (CAGR) 2014-2019: +3.6%

  • Food consumption per capita growth (y-o-y) in 2015: +3.8%;...

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Freight Transport

Germany Freight Transport

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Following a year in which  we saw increasing volumes across the whole of Germany's freight transport sector, BMI believes 2015 will see further growth. 

Total trade is projected to pick up with our Country Risk team forecasting a y-o-y increase of 1.35% in 2015, following an estimated growth at the same rate in 2014. 

Road freight is set to continue to dominate the sector and is projected to grow by 2% in 2015. The sector was unable to defy the downturn losing more than 11% of freight volumes over 2009 and 2010 before a strong recovery begun in 2011.

Port of Hamburg tonnage is also expected to grow, having completed, according to our estimates, a full recovery to its pre-downturn levels in 2014. 

Headline Industry Data

  • 2015 Air freight tonnage is expected to grow by 1...

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Information Technology

Germany Information Technology

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BMI View: We have downgraded the growth outlook for the Germany's IT market this quarter as a result of the economic slowdown and heightened regional economic downside risk. However, we expect total spending will continue to increase in each year of our forecast, with demand for IT services including cloud computing and big data forecast to outperform. Additionally, Germany continues to attract inward investment from leading global IT market vendors, with the Internet of Things investment a leading trend in 2014 and early 2015. Vendors...

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Infrastructure

Germany Infrastructure

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BMI View: We maintain our gloomy outlook for Germany's construction sector, given neither the government in the form of infrastructure investment nor the private sector in real estate is investing enough to maintain growth at levels seen 2014. We expect growth to reach 2% in 2015, with the eurozone and Ukraine crisis being the major downside risks. The residential sector, rail infrastructure and renewables projects remain the market's bright spots.

Low levels of domestic investment remains are largest concern for the German infrastructure market and with a government committed to fiscal prudence and business sentiment at low levels due to concerns over the economy, we do not expect...

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Insurance

Germany Insurance

Medical Devices

Germany Medical Devices

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BMI Industry View : Despite an increasingly challenging operating environment, Germany remains one of the most attractive medical device markets in Western Europe (WE), testament to the underlying strength of the German economy and a commitment to maintain a high quality healthcare service. Whilst austerity measures in the health sector have hit the pharmaceutical industry harder than the medical device industry, measures to restrict the growth in spending on hospital and ambulatory services are inevitably increasing ...

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Metals

Germany Metals

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Germany's metals sector will continue to feel the squeeze as output prices remain low and costs stay stubbornly high. We forecast subdued growth in consumption of key metals such as steel, copper and aluminium, chiefly due to a muted outlook for economic activity in the country. Key metal consuming sectors such as autos and construction will remain weak. For autos production, we do not foresee a return to growth until 2018 at the earliest.

Illustrative of challenges faced by the wider metals sector, steel mills will remain under significant pressure, as low output prices squeeze margins. This will encourage consolidation of operations and dampen output growth. We forecast that steel production will post only erratic growth in the coming years, as low prices will continue to bite.

Stagnation Ahead
Germany - Crude Steel Production
...

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Mining

Germany Mining

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BMI View: Germany's coal sector is one of the largest in Europe and is the main driver of mining activity in the country. Coal output continues to grow courtesy of strong demand for lignite used in the majority of the nation's power plants, however, the industry finds itself increasingly under threat from the rapid development of renewable energy production as well as growing opposition to fossil fuel-based energy production across the EU. These factors are likely to see the relative value of German mining gradually decline over the long-term.

Germany's mining sector is heavily focused around coal mining, with the country currently the largest producer of lignite, or brown coal, in the EU and boasting the eight highest annual output in global terms. Located primarily in the Rhineland region in Western Germany, the lignite mining industry remains a major employer. The...

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Oil & Gas

Germany Oil & Gas

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BMI View: Germany will remain the biggest consumer and importer of oil in Western Europe for the next 10 years. The country will also be the largest importer of natural gas. Demand for both oil and gas will remain weak as Germany continues its renewable energy drive.

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Headline Forecasts (Germany 2013-2019)
2013 2014e 2015f 2016f

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Petrochemicals

Germany Petrochemicals

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The German petrochemicals market is set for a slowdown in growth in 2015 and the situation is likely to be sustained over the medium term, ensuring that it is unable to generate the consumption levels many European producers were banking on for recovery, according to BMI's latest Germany Petrochemicals Report.

In 2014, German chemicals output grew just 1.5%, with significant weakening in Q414. The industry's domestic sales fell 0.8%, marking a worse performance than the previous year. Clearly, the German chemicals and petrochemicals industries are not immune to the eurozone slowdown or the impact of the Ukrainian crisis and related sanctions on Russia. These events have exacerbated growing structural problems within the German economy, which is further denting an already ailing investment picture for the German petrochemicals sector.

In the long run, German producers will leverage...

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Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare

Germany Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare

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BMI View: One of the largest markets in Europe, Germany will continue to experience rising demand for pharmaceuticals, sustained by an ageing population with a strong bias towards patented medicines. In spite of this, additional restrictions on reimbursement, tempered by government's desire to preserve an industry integral to Germany's positive balance of trade and international prestige, will nonetheless constrain revenues and intensify already fierce competition amongst drugmakers. As such, drugmakers will perceive a positive, but deteriorating German operating environment, marked by intensifying price competition, increasingly burdensome regulation and an economic environment particularly susceptible to sudden ...

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Power

Germany Power

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BMI View: There is little to indicate that Germany will diverge from the energy policy trajectory it has established under the Energiewende - despite the macroeconomic costs of its ambitious shift to renewables. Traditional utilities such as E.ON and RWE will have to respond to structural changes in the German power market if they are to ensure future profitability.

Although reform of the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) may slow the pace of renewables expansion so as to reduce the costs associated with the Energiewende (energy transition), we emphasise there is little to indicate any major change in green energy policy trajectory. Germany will continue to register rapid growth in renewable-based electricity generation and retain its position as a global renewables powerhouse. This will, however, have significant implications for the economy...

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Real Estate

Germany Real Estate

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BMI View:   Germany boasts one of the most developed and investor-friendly commercial real estate markets in the European Union, with a dynamic export sector and strong consumer environment supporting steady growth in rental rates in the post economic-downturn era. However, we see slowing GDP taking some of the momentum out of the market with rental rate growth likely to be moderate over the coming year.

Germany's commercial real estate sector has retained something of a 'safe haven' status over recent years as a strong internal and external demand environment have supported continued growth in rental rates and investment flows. 2013 saw Germany record its highest level of commercial real estate transactional activity since 2007, with investment flows directed primarily towards the office market. ...

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Renewables

Germany Renewables

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BMI View: The German renewables industry is expected to continue with solid growth in the next quarter as well as in the ten-year forecast period. While we expect the reforms of the German Renewable Energies Law (EEG) to help reduce price levels, we do not foresee them to do so in a drastic measure and hence expect price levels to remain above its regional peers.

German's renewables expansion has been undeniably successful in terms of capacity growth over the last three years and the contribution renewables generation makes to the country's electricity mix. Focusing primarily on wind and solar power, the country has firmly established itself as the European bellwether for green energy. The government has established a target for electricity generation from renewable sources, aiming to expand renewables so that they contribute 35% to total electricity generation in the country...

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Telecommunications

Germany Telecommunications

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BMI View : Consolidation is driving the German telecommunications market as operators strive to reinvent themselves as full converged service providers. O2 has acquired E-Plus and Vodafone has gained control of Kabel Deutschland Group and launched Netflix streaming video alongside its more orthodox pay-TV services. Low value voice and messaging services are being superseded by data-centric services as more consumers demand 'everything everywhere' access. The shift of one mobile virtual network operator from low-value...

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Tourism

Germany Tourism

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BMI View: The Germany tourism report examines a range of key market indicators in this established and popular tourist destination in the heart of Western Europe. Benefiting from an extremely well-developed transport network, including a wide range of regional road and rail connections, as well as a mature hotel and accommodation sector, Germany is well placed to keep up with healthy and consistent increases in tourist arrivals throughout the forecast period to 2019.

Years of extensive investment mean that Germany's transport network, vital to a healthy tourism industry, is highly developed. The country has many road and rail connections to its neighbours in Europe, facilitating regional travel which dominates both the...

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Water

Germany Water

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BMI View:  Germany's water industry is highly developed, evidenced through high drinking water and sewage network connection rates, significant investment and strict drinking water criteria. However, in order to become a water powerhouse, Germany must further improve its overall water quality. We see the improvement of water quality as the final hurdle in the advancement of the German water sector.

Over the first half of 2014, the German construction industry has indeed shown signs that it is in the best shape it has been for over a year. ...

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