In Europe, and especially in Germany, corporate finance is widely viewed as being dominated by banks. With the tightening of bank regulation in recent years there is a danger that access to credit will become more difficult. However, many enterprises have already improved their creditworthiness by increasing their equity capital ratios and by diversifying their short-term funding. While banks will continue to play a major role in providing long-term loans, capital markets are especially suited to equity funding. Overall, German companies are characterised by a robust financing structure, through which they are well-equipped for future investment.
We argue that the period of low inflation has come to an end based on six structural factors, which define the new inflationary environment.
The rapid recovery of demand combined with supply constraints has led to rising prices during the past months. This is evident in oil and gas markets, but also in international trade, which has been thrown out of step by bottlenecks at Asian ports.