Tip: Activate javascript to be able to use all functions of our website

Focus on Economics

Focus on Economics provides information on current themes, enabling the reader to quickly get to grips with various issues

Forwarding to KfW Research


February 2023 Global carbon pricing: The rocky road to an effective global response to climate change(PDF, 1 MB, accessible)
January 2023 Skills shortage marks a turning point: The times of guaranteed growth are over(PDF, 307 KB, accessible)
December 2022 Germany’s close integration into global trade and value chains(PDF, 353 KB, accessible)
November 2022 The US dollar’s dominance remains virtually unchallenged(PDF, 235 KB, accessible)
October 2022 Two central banks – one problem: recession may follow inflation(PDF, 334 KB, accessible)
September 2022 GDP forecasting and greenhouse gas emissions – an integrated approach(PDF, 214 KB, accessible)
September 2022 Securing critical raw materials for the net zero and digital transformation(PDF, 295 KB, accessible)
August 2022 Vaccines ‘Made in Africa’: Considerations on building local vaccine production capacity(PDF, 369 KB, accessible)
July 2022 Public investment required to achieve climate neutrality in Germany(PDF, 396 KB, accessible)
July 2022 Types of SMEs in the innovation system: activities, constraints and successes(PDF, 266 KB, accessible)
July 2022 Trends in market: War in Ukraine is affecting investor expectations(PDF, 235 KB, accessible)
June 2022 SMEs that have a digitalisation strategy are more proactive in their digital evolution (PDF, 172 KB, accessible)
February 2022 Green inflation? Between climate action and price stability(PDF, 299 KB, accessible)
February 2022 Taper Tantrum 2.0 appears unlikely(PDF, 201 KB, non-accessible)
January 2022 China’s long-term development goals: a challenge to productivity(PDF, 382 KB, non-accessible)
December 2021 German SMEs invest EUR 22 billion in climate action to remain viable and competitive(PDF, 261 KB, non-accessible)
November 2021 The future is green – what opportunities are available to German business?(PDF, 242 KB, non-accessible)
October 2021 COP26 – three opportunities for global cooperation on climate action(PDF, 169 KB, non-accessible)
October 2021 Government spending: efficiency also matters(PDF, 273 KB, non-accessible)
October 2021 Digitalisation in international comparison: Germany lags far behind in IT investment(PDF, 197 KB, non-accessible)
October 2021 Supply bottlenecks are significantly impacting all areas of the SME sector(PDF, 165 KB, non-accessible)
October 2021 Investing EUR 5 trillion to reach climate neutrality – a surmountable challenge(PDF, 270 KB, non-accessible)
October 2021 Low globalisation momentum requires adjustment of German companies’ growth strategies(PDF, 238 KB, non-accessible)
October 2021 What’s next for Germany’s growth model? Scenarios for globalisation(PDF, 263 KB, non-accessible)
September 2021 Market environment and competition strategies shape innovation and digitalisation in small and medium-sized enterprises(PDF, 193 KB, non-accessible)
September 2021 German SMEs lack digital skills, need more training(PDF, 219 KB, non-accessible)
September 2021 The EU’s carbon border adjustment: A trade barrier or an opportunity for global climate action?(PDF, 293 KB, non-accessible)
August 2021 Which enterprises have been hit hardest by the coronavirus crisis and what lessons can we learn from it(PDF, 209 KB, non-accessible)
August 2021 No way back: Many SMEs expect the coronavirus crisis to have a lasting impact on product demand(PDF, 158 KB, non-accessible)
August 2021 The trade-offs between digitalisation and climate action: Why digitalisation must be sustainable(PDF, 203 KB, non-accessible)
July 2021 Sustainable finance in German municipalities: Can green municipal loans break the ice?(PDF, 239 KB, non-accessible)
July 2021 The significance of online credit platforms for SMEs: digital third-party financing still a niche product(PDF, 317 KB, non-accessible)
July 2021 Innovation and digitalisation in enterprises mutually reinforce each other(PDF, 216 KB, non-accessible)
July 2021 Africa’s long COVID: health consequences and vaccine shortages(PDF, 243 KB, non-accessible)
July 2021 Are higher interest rates and inflation ahead? A long-term view beyond the pandemic(PDF, 209 KB, non-accessible)
May 2021 Information technologies are not one of Germany’s strengths but of vital importance as technologies of the future(PDF, 220 KB, non-accessible)
May 2021 Shift to electric vehicles is gathering pace – but who is climbing into the driver’s seat?(PDF, 199 KB, non-accessible)
May 2021 A successful pandemic response requires more than basic preparedness(PDF, 185 KB, non-accessible)
April 2021 Continuing education has dropped in the crisis – need for digital skills is growing(PDF, 196 KB, non-accessible)
March 2021 Debt sustainability after the coronavirus crisis – interest rates and growth are pivotal(PDF, 237 KB, non-accessible)
March 2021 What is driving housing prices – risky speculation or sound calculation?(PDF, 148 KB, non-accessible)
March 2021 The coronavirus and foreign trade – the crisis accentuates long-term trends(PDF, 279 KB, non-accessible)
March 2021 Transitioning to climate neutrality by 2050: a major challenge for German industry(PDF, 253 KB, non-accessible)
March 2021 Technologies of the future for Germany: The country is well placed in many areas but some need readjustment(PDF, 165 KB, non-accessible)
February 2021 More practical vocational training may ease skills shortage in Central-Eastern Europe(PDF, 235 KB, non-accessible)
February 2021 A ray of light: Residential construction investment is up despite coronavirus crisis(PDF, 267 KB, non-accessible)
February 2021 Artificial intelligence: high growth potential but low penetration in SMEs(PDF, 251 KB, non-accessible)
February 2021 Coronavirus update on municipal finance: 2021 will be another nail biter(PDF, 195 KB, non-accessible)
January 2021 Coronavirus crisis is hampering innovation, digitalisation sees mixed trend(PDF, 184 KB, non-accessible)
January 2021 Pragmatism in trade policy: regional trade agreements(PDF, 228 KB, non-accessible)
December 2020 Short-term shock with lasting effects: The coronavirus crisis and international value chains(PDF, 230 KB, non-accessible)
December 2020 Status report on SME succession 2020: Well-prepared into the crisis – coronavirus exacerbates start-up downturn(PDF, 247 KB, non-accessible)
November 2020 SMEs between financial resilience and a digital and green investment surge – a trade-off that should not be(PDF, 368 KB, non-accessible)
November 2020 Nigeria’s tech scene between coronavirus and infrastructure deficits(PDF, 130 KB, non-accessible)
October 2020 Which SMEs use digital platforms?(PDF, 214 KB, non-accessible)
October 2020 For crisis-resilient growth and better global collaboration(PDF, 223 KB, non-accessible)
October 2020 Uncertainty and economic activity in Germany(PDF, 319 KB, non-accessible)
September 2020 How effectively do Germany’s foreign trade and investment promotion schemes support investment in Africa?(PDF, 339 KB, non-accessible)
August 2020 The ECB’s inflation target: flexible future(PDF, 214 KB, non-accessible)
July 2020 Will economic relations between Germany and Poland thrive post-coronavirus?(PDF, 176 KB, non-accessible)
July 2020 Innovation during the coronavirus crisis: necessity is the mother of invention(PDF, 181 KB, non-accessible)
June 2020 Coronavirus crisis in Germany’s SMEs: Return to full economic activity still far off but gradual opening has eased pressure on liquidity(PDF, 148 KB, non-accessible)
June 2020 What puts low income countries in this category?(PDF, 200 KB, non-accessible)
June 2020 SMEs are responding creatively to the coronavirus crisis(PDF, 135 KB, non-accessible)
April 2020 Economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Latin America(PDF, 169 KB, non-accessible)
April 2020 SMEs are firmly in the grip of the coronavirus crisis but (still) holding on strong(PDF, 214 KB, non-accessible)
April 2020 Housing with improved accessibility: ageing is a strong driver of demand – support is working(PDF, 165 KB, non-accessible)
April 2020 Considerations on the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Africa(PDF, 322 KB, non-accessible)
March 2020 Financing of digitalisation and capital expenditure in SMEs – a comparison(PDF, 201 KB, non-accessible)
February 2020 Sustainable maritime shipping and climate action(PDF, 225 KB, non-accessible)
February 2020 Small and medium-sized enterprises offer family-friendly working conditions as a way to attract skilled workers(PDF, 220 KB, non-accessible)
February 2020 Digital skills shortage is hampering German SMEs’ digital transformation – is upskilling the answer?(PDF, 144 KB, non-accessible)
December 2019 SME succession in Germany: ‘Mittelstand’ needs 152,000 successors by the end of 2021 – external investors wanted(PDF, 186 KB, non-accessible)
December 2019 How do Germany’s housing costs compare with the rest of the EU?(PDF, 189 KB, non-accessible)
December 2019 Housing market: The social market economy can do better than freezing rents(PDF, 183 KB, non-accessible)
December 2019 Brexit and the UK’s regional divide: a cautionary example(PDF, 166 KB, non-accessible)
November 2019 North-south, east-west – thoughts on Germany 30 years after the fall of the Wall(PDF, 160 KB, non-accessible)
September 2019 The Sustainable Development Goals – SDG reporting by banks(PDF, 547 KB, non-accessible)
August 2019 Business performance of different types of small and medium-sized innovators(PDF, 326 KB, non-accessible)
August 2019 Interactive learning or R&D: How do small and medium-sized enterprises generate innovations?(PDF, 372 KB, non-accessible)
August 2019 70 years of social market economy: a cause for celebration, several occasions for reform(PDF, 2 MB, non-accessible)
August 2019 Structural reforms – easier said than done(PDF, 339 KB, non-accessible)
July 2019 The circular economy – pivotal to sustainability and resource security(PDF, 404 KB, non-accessible)
July 2019 High debt distress risk – a ‘typically’ African problem?(PDF, 296 KB, non-accessible)
July 2019 China’s Belt and Road Initiative: too early for success stories(PDF, 337 KB, non-accessible)
May 2019 Côte d'Ivoire – more than just cocoa!(PDF, 290 KB, non-accessible)
March 2019 Digitalisation: Much ado about nothing or is there more to come?(PDF, 373 KB, non-accessible)
March 2019 Ethiopia in 2025: an up-and-coming industrial hub in Africa?(PDF, 310 KB, non-accessible)
March 2019 A successful energy transition requires a CO2-oriented energy price reform(PDF, 402 KB, non-accessible)
March 2019 Trump's tax reform: not very effective and at the wrong time(PDF, 272 KB, non-accessible)
March 2019 Germany’s work force sees need for skilled migration – degree of approval varies by education, income and region(PDF, 334 KB, non-accessible)
March 2019 Green bonds – a sustainable alternative for municipal infrastructure finance?(PDF, 325 KB, non-accessible)
March 2019 Biological diversity – why it is so important(PDF, 327 KB, non-accessible)
February 2019 German SMEs are very loyal to their principal bank(PDF, 225 KB, non-accessible)
February 2019 Start-up location Germany: fear of failure could be countered with better economic education(PDF, 343 KB, non-accessible)
February 2019 Status report on SME succession: Planning steady at a high level(PDF, 346 KB, non-accessible)
January 2019 Migrant start-ups – a stronger desire for self-employment(PDF, 234 KB, non-accessible)
January 2019 Emerging from the niche: 154,000 ‘young’ social entrepreneurs in Germany in 2017(PDF, 350 KB, non-accessible)
January 2019 How SMEs fund their innovation and investment expenditure – a comparison(PDF, 328 KB, non-accessible)
December 2018 Determinants of digitalisation and innovation behaviour in the SME sector(PDF, 340 KB, non-accessible)
November 2018 Businesses are saving more than they are investing – hampering any rapid correction of Germany’s current account imbalance(PDF, 314 KB, non-accessible)
November 2018 Low-income country debt: the worry lines are not easing off(PDF, 312 KB, non-accessible)
November 2018 Waiting for the M&A boom in the ICT sector – despite digitalisation(PDF, 323 KB, non-accessible)
November 2018 Many job openings, few job seekers: SMEs expect a shortage of skilled workers(PDF, 294 KB, non-accessible)
November 2018 Local currency bond markets as an integral part of a developed financial system(PDF, 282 KB, non-accessible)
October 2018 What TARGET balances are and how they emerge(PDF, 344 KB, non-accessible)
October 2018 More Chinese M&A deals in the German SME sector – but the share remains negligible(PDF, 752 KB, non-accessible)
October 2018 M&A deals in the German SME sector – manufacturers are most sought after(PDF, 361 KB, non-accessible)
October 2018 Germany’s real estate boom: Is this time different?(PDF, 158 KB, non-accessible)
October 2018 The value of a bitcoin: more competition in payments(PDF, 143 KB, non-accessible)
October 2018 The long climb out of the crisis low: investment recovery in the euro area continues(PDF, 372 KB, non-accessible)
September 2018 Unemployment in North Africa – men without jobs are not the only problem(PDF, 77 KB, non-accessible)
September 2018 As energy prices fall, SMEs have lower costs – and increased efforts for energy efficiency and energy cost savings (PDF, 236 KB, non-accessible)
July 2018 Concerns about ‘zombie companies’ in the SME sector are unfounded(PDF, 76 KB, accessible)
July 2018 Turkey after the elections: What are the chances for new economic policies?(PDF, 245 KB, non-accessible)
July 2018 Allemagne en marche?! Municipal investment backlogs in France and Germany(PDF, 384 KB, non-accessible)
July 2018 Is there no end to Germany’s jobs boom? What we can do now to meet our skills needs in the future(PDF, 368 KB, non-accessible)
July 2018 Digitalisation in the textile, apparel and footwear industry – a threat to industrialising and developing market economies?(PDF, 71 KB, non-accessible)
July 2018 How energy-efficient is Germany?(PDF, 125 KB, non-accessible)
June 2018 International trade in services – German SMEs are active too(PDF, 90 KB, non-accessible)
June 2018 Japan: Is record low unemployment finally bringing back inflation?(PDF, 126 KB, non-accessible)
June 2018 Reforms in France: focused and fast(PDF, 133 KB, non-accessible)
June 2018 US trade policy targets symptoms, not causes(PDF, 84 KB, non-accessible)
June 2018 USD / EUR exchange rate: Expectations and risk premiums are main drivers, not yield spread(PDF, 250 KB, non-accessible)
May 2018 EU partnership agreements alone cannot solve structural problems in trade with Africa(PDF, 80 KB, non-accessible)
April 2018 The smart city as a solution to municipal challenges?(PDF, 225 KB, non-accessible)
March 2018 Digitalisation in German SMEs: state of implementation and investment(PDF, 166 KB, non-accessible)
March 2018 Weak productivity: different causes require different therapies(PDF, 152 KB, non-accessible)
March 2018 Credit markets in the euro area: heterogeneous but healthy(PDF, 203 KB, non-accessible)
March 2018 Italy’s debt sustainability: stable but with room for improvement through more growth(PDF, 118 KB, non-accessible)
January 2018 Wave of successions in German SMEs: 240,000 successors wanted by 2019(PDF, 166 KB, non-accessible)
January 2018 Sovereign debt in emerging market economies is a country-specific issue(PDF, 64 KB, non-accessible)
December 2017 Declining municipal investment backlog – a trend reversal or just a temporary breather?(PDF, 186 KB, non-accessible)
December 2017 Research and development (R&D) in SMEs: internal funding capacity determines scope of R&D expenditure(PDF, 276 KB, non-accessible)
December 2017 Green finance – green banking(PDF, 123 KB, non-accessible)
November 2017 Consumer loans in the USA: be vigilant but not afraid(PDF, 126 KB, non-accessible)
November 2017 SME innovations: Seven reasons for the decline in the share of innovators(PDF, 174 KB, non-accessible)
October 2017 Starting a business with kids: mompreneurs balance work and family life(PDF, 214 KB, non-accessible)
October 2017 The happy few: German SMEs investing abroad(PDF, 121 KB, non-accessible)
October 2017 The world is not a village – geographic proximity to export markets is crucial to SMEs(PDF, 155 KB, non-accessible)
October 2017 Branch closures: German banks are shifting up a gear amid Herculean challenge of digitisation(PDF, 583 KB, non-accessible)
August 2017 Economic prospects for sub-Saharan-Africa and the role of urbanisation(PDF, 303 KB, non-accessible)
August 2017 Current account balance: reduce surplus, make Germany stronger(PDF, 252 KB, non-accessible)
August 2017 Success factors of high-growth enterprises(PDF, 131 KB, non-accessible)
July 2017 Monetary policy has reduced fiscal pressure in euro area – but interest rate turnaround is coming(PDF, 73 KB, non-accessible)
June 2017 Russia – import substitution during recession(PDF, 167 KB, non-accessible)
May 2017 SMEs exporting to the USA: innovative high performers
April 2017Can an expansive fiscal policy deliver an economic miracle in the USA?
April 2017Business investment: waiting for Godot?
April 2017China’s rapid rise affects other developing and emerging countries at various levels
April 2017Migrants have more and larger start-ups: more hours a week, more employees
March 2017What has the EU done for us? Taking stock of 60 years of European integration
March 2017ECB policy remains unchanged – despite temporarily higher inflation
February 2017SMEs in Germany are slow to adopt e-commerce
January 2017Inflation in Germany rises only briefly above two per cent
January 2017SMEs all over the world are promoting social interests
January 2017Labour mobility in Europe does little to mitigate economic shocks – national labour markets absorb adjustment pressure
January 2017Euro area labour markets: reform successes are a good signal for employment
January 2017Foreign workers in German SMEs: a strong plea for free labour markets
January 2017Participation in continuing education is unequal – especially by prior attainment
December 2016Euro area credit markets: step by step, little by little
December 2016 First, more money and now, more staff – what do municipalities need in order to invest?(PDF, 175 KB, non-accessible)
December 2016South America after the commodity boom – productivity worries are back
December 2016Turkey has made much progress but remains highly vulnerable
November 2016Access to credit varies considerably depending on the purpose
November 2016The decentralised global monetary system requires an efficient safety net
October 2016No pain, no gain? Economic adjustment programmes in Greece and Portugal
September 2016 Investment backlog in schools hampers educational performance(PDF, 194 KB, non-accessible)
September 2016Crude oil price no longer drives inflation expectations
August 2016Fiscal policy in the euro area – greater focus on the economic cycle and closer coordination between member states
August 2016SMEs and digitalisation: The current position, recent developments and challenges
August 2016SMEs' value chains are becoming more international – Europe remains key
August 2016Large German firms invest roughly the same amounts at home and abroad
August 2016With good politics, sub-Saharan Africa can make up more lost ground
July 2016Labour productivity of large euro area countries drifts apart – Italy falling behind
July 2016Transfer-planing entrepreneurs outnumber takeover entrepreneurs 3 to 1
July 2016Ageing boosts SMEs’ need for successors – 620,000 business transitions by 2018
July 2016No turn of the tides in U.S. trade
June 2016SMEs face a wide range of barriers to innovation – support policy needs to be broad-based
June 2016The energy transition will not work without a heating transition
June 2016Demographic change bolsters private consumption and SME growth
May 2016ECB policy has saved euro states from severe economic hardship since 2012
May 2016SMEs and innovation: enterprises innovate less as their workforce ages
April 2016Germany’s demographic trap – integrating refugees is only part of the solution
April 2016Common challenges for Europe and Asia as interdependence grows
April 2016Older workers in SMEs – a golden asset or a liability?
March 2016Friedman beats Schumpeter – stability, not crisis, fosters dynamic small and medium-sized entrepreneurship
February 2016TTIP – an opportunity for European SMEs
February 2016Harnessing the potential of digitalisation – with data protection and IT security
January 2016Migrants are more active entrepreneurs – mostly as a result of labour market conditions
December 2015What are the hallmarks of consistently successful businesses?
November 2015Fuelling the future with natural gas
November 2015Are start-ups the same throughout Germany? Hardly! A comparison of German states
November 2015Which factors influence redistribution? Perception and evaluation of inequality
November 2015Influx of refugees to Germany requires investment in housing, schools and minds
October 2015Financial literacy helps with business startups: easier, better funded, more competitive
September 2015Japan’s demographic millstone
August 2015An international comparison of R&D: Germany benefits from industrial research strength
August 2015Latest developments in China: tricky, but no reason to panic (just yet)
July 2015More hype than substance? Not all is rosy on the US job market
July 2015How female is the world of small business? Women as business leaders
July 2015Recruitment of skilled workers in SMEs: Optimism must not distract from qualification problems
July 2015Germany’s private equity market lacks venture capital
July 2015Energy cost drivers: It’s not just about electricity!
June 2015North African countries face common economic challenges
June 2015Oil: a price with many implications
April 2015Succession planning in SME sector in full swing: Half a million hand-overs by 2017
March 2015An end to energy subsidies in developing countries and emerging markets – if not now, then when?
March 2015SME borrowing: large loans in high demand
March 2015EnglishIs it really just the oil price? Some general observations on inflation in the euro area
March 2015Competition policy: a question of enforcement
March 2015Ageing of German SME owners is putting a dampener on investment
March 2015World trade with interesting but alarming trends
February 2015Where there’s a will, is there a way? Barriers to becoming self-employed
January 2015Entrepreneurial graduates rely on business ideas from professional practice
January 2015Take It Easy? A look at the consolidation of public finances in the US
January 2015Decline in working hours threatens to exacerbate the consequences of an ageing population
December 2014Japan has not (yet) failed
October 2014European housing markets: are overheating concerns justified?
October 2014Development of low-income countries paints a mixed picture
September 2014Arrived at normality – Germany 25 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall
September 2014Monetary policy coordination or not – is that issue here?
August 2014A fair look at France
July 2014Russia – limited international economic relations
June 2014Investments: SMEs still in the black, large companies long since in the red
June 2014Reforms in China: not only urgent in the country's own interests, but also beneficial to the rest of the world
May 2014Italy is different: Beyond labour market reforms
May 2014Portugal – a phoenix rising from the ashes?
May 2014Ukraine: IMF loan cannot prevent economic crisis
April 2014Energy from Russia and the alternatives
April 2014KfW SME Panel 2013: How German SMEs finance their innovations
March 2014The network of Germany's bank branches is dwindling
February 2014Where is China headed and what does this mean for Germany and the world?
February 2014Should we feel bad about debt?
February 2014The Problem of Balance of Payment Imbalances
January 2014Youth unemployment in Southern Europe – Result of the crisis or a flaw in the system?
January 2014KfW SME Panel 2013: Innovation Are German SMEs finally in the starting blocks?
January 2014How can car sharing help in the energy turnaround?
December 2013Energy costs and energy efficiency in the German SME sector
December 2013Germany's entrepreneurial culture: strengths and weaknesses
December 2013Creating the right incentives! – Modifying Germany’s EEG exemption scheme for manufacturing industry
November 2013Fiscal consolidation in Spain: the battle goes on
November 2013Ireland: Return with risks
November 2013Strong exports are good for Germany, excessive current account surpluses are not
November 2013Solving the demographic problem
October 2013Have the old still what it takes?Differences in the innovative output of young and old entrepreneurs
September 2013World of difference between Fed and ECB monetary policy
September 2013Debt in Low Income Countries: crisis eases, risks remain
September 2013Municipalities under construction: demographic change meets communal infrastructure
September 2013How companies recognise, exploit and overcome crises
September 2013Good advice helps – and it needn't be expensive
August 2013Tough climate for German SMEs: competition increases, the three 'I's promise success
July 2013Low debt entrepreneurs: in financing matters, women entrepreneurs play it safe
July 2013Emerging economies China and India: heavyweights facing big challenges
July 2013Diversity is crucial: how the SME sector in Germany compares with others in Europe
May 2013Sideline start-ups rarely transition to fulltime ventures
May 2013Routes out of recession: improving competitiveness in Germany, France and Italy
May 2013Investing for the future
May 2013Learning to succeed: how SMEs benefit from the international exchange of ideas
April 2013Fracking - you snooze, you lose?
March 2013You get what you pay for – The remuneration structure of VC funds and its consequences
February 2013The Asian Crisis of 1997: No patent remedies for solving the Eurozone debt crisis
February 2013Loans for SMEs – gap in Europe widens further
January 2013"Big Bertha" and its effectiveness
January 2013KfW programmes on energy-efficient housing substantially contribute to the German energy turnaround
January 2013The innovation motor is sputtering Innovation activities in the German SME sector
December 2012Fiscal Policy in Emerging Markets – Successes and Challenges
November 2012To be the Leader of the pack? Innovation strategies in the German SME sector
November 2012Ways out of the euro crisis: Growth needs financing
September 2012Barriers to innovation in SMEs