The Bundesbank believes that there is some scope for lowering the contribution rate to the unemployment insurance scheme. It notably proposes using taxpayers' money to finance the Federal Employment Agency's non-insurance-related benefits in future. By contrast, the Bundesbank's economists, writing in the latest Monthly Report, take a sceptical view of suggestions to introduce a European unemployment insurance scheme.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann voiced his opposition to proposals for economic policy measures to counteract German current account surpluses. It would be “absurd”, Weidmann said, to discuss measures aimed at artificially weakening German competitiveness.
The Bundesbank is expecting economic growth in Germany to remain quite robust. According to the current issue of the Monthly Report, the underlying pace of economic activity is still high. The Bundesbank’s economists believe that private consumption will be the main driver of growth.
Demand for loans for house purchase and consumer credit rose sharply in Germany in the first quarter of 2015. This is revealed by the Bundesbank's most recent Bank Lending Survey in Germany. The increased demand was met with only a slight change in German credit institutions' credit standards.
The Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank are being held in Washington, DC, this coming weekend. G20 finance ministers and central bank governors will also be convening on the sidelines of these meetings from 17 to 19 April. One of the main topics at the meeting will be organisational reforms at the International Monetary Fund.
The Deutsche Bundesbank has launched its own app for smartphones and tablets, which is available for download free of charge. This new app provides users with the latest information on Bundesbank publications, matters of interest and key dates, all in one convenient location. An interactive module on banknote recognition explains the security features of euro banknotes.
Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann calls for a reassessment of the risks of government bonds in banks’ balance sheets. At a high-level Bundesbank conference in Frankfurt am Main, he advocated moving forward with a European solution should it be impossible to achieve global agreement.
On 27 March 2015, the Bundesbank hosted a high-level conference on debt and financial stability as part of the German G7 Presidency. Central bankers, supervisors and academics met in Frankfurt am Main to discuss the drivers of these issues and the challenges they present to regulators.
In the opinion of Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann, monetary policy makers must not stand idly by at the first signs of speculative exaggerations in the asset markets. As part of their existing mandate, they have to also take into account the effects of financial imbalances on price stability.
The German economy was buoyant during the first three months of the year. The Bundesbank economists, writing in the latest Monthly Report, expect economic output to remain on a marked upward trajectory in the second quarter. Another topic they discuss is what needs to be done to strengthen the regulatory framework underpinning European monetary union.