Germany – Current Economic Policy Debates

Frankfurt am Main, Germany

January 18, 2018

The IMF and the Deutsche Bundesbank are hosting a one-day conference on Current Economic Policy Debates in Germany on Thursday, January 18, 2018 in Frankfurt, Germany. The conference will bring together economists from academia, think tanks, and policymaking institutions from inside and outside of Germany to discuss areas where the economic policy debate has been particularly intense in recent years. These include developments in wages and inflation, the appropriate fiscal policy stance, Germany’s current account surplus and the post-crisis agenda for the euro area and Germany. IMF Managing Director Lagarde, Deutsche Bundesbank President Weidmann, and other prominent economists will speak at the conference.



Keynote Address - Webcast

Jens Weidmann, Deutsche Bundesbank


Session 1: Wages and inflation in Germany - Webcast

  • Why is core inflation in Germany not picking up despite favourable economic conditions?
  • Why is wage growth still so moderate despite the tight labour market?
  • Are there any impediments to the way in which wages respond to unemployment?
  • What is the role of untapped employment potential in the form of the higher labour market participation of older persons and women? What is the role of immigration?

ChairPoul Thomsen, IMF




Coffee break



Session 2: Fiscal policy: a medium-term view - Webcast

  • What should Germany’s fiscal orientation be in the medium term? Are safety margins advisable as part of the fiscal rules? Should the fiscal rules be adjusted?
  • Are they an impediment to investment in needed public infrastructure or to other policies aimed at increasing long-term growth?
  • Which structural fiscal reforms are advisable?
  • Should German fiscal policy take into account economic activity in the euro area or focus solely on domestic objectives?

ChairRolf Strauch, ESM





Session 3: Germany’s current account surplus: a problem to be fixed? - Webcast

  • Why is Germany’s current account surplus so large? Is it a sign of economic strength (e.g. competitiveness) or weakness (e.g. lack of good investment opportunities at home)? Is it a reflection of an unwarranted imbalance between domestic savings and investment?
  • Does the German surplus pose a threat to the international monetary system?

    Or to the euro area?

  • What is the role of public policy?

ChairClaudia Buch, Deutsche Bundesbank



Coffee break


Concluding panel: A post-crisis agenda for the euro area and Germany: which way forward? - Webcast

  • What should be the focus of economic policies in Germany to ensure strong and sustainable economic growth going forward?
  • What should be the focus of economic policies in the euro area as the legacies of the crisis dissipate?
  • Which structural reforms should be prioritised to ensure sustainable growth in the euro area?
  • What are the main challenges that lie ahead?

ChairChristine Lagarde, IMF