The European Central Bank (ECB) signaled on Thursday that it expects will probably continue to use until the summer of 2019, with a first increase in its key interest rate. Who hopes as a saver to benefit in the coming years, significantly higher interest rates, receive a cold shower in the form of a study by the Institute of German economy (IW). The IW leads, as before, a number of professionals abroad, to the result that the interest rate will remain mainly as a result of demographic changes, expected to be a long time is very low. This is true not only for Germany but also for many other countries.

Gerald Braunberger

editor in the business, responsible for the financial market.

F. A. Z.

The forecast of the IW looks for Germany up to the year 2025, a slight increase of the real, i.e. Inflation-adjusted interest rate to 1.3 percent. After that, the real interest rate is expected to fall up to the year 2035 to 0.5, and by 2050 to 0 percent. If this forecast occurs only approximately, interest and equipment for a long time less attractive to savers.

these long-term forecasts are, of course, associated with uncertainties, and the study also emphasizes that they should be seen as Trends and not as exact predictions. In order to have meaning, must be based, long-term Trends to long-term influences the economy, politics or society.

“demography is not a permanent Trend,”

a number of studies from the past few years, the IW looks at the monetary policy of the Central banks as the long-term determining factor for the development of interest rates, but long-term other forces. A monetary policy that is committed to the goal of a low Inflation, is trying, in the setting of your short-term rate to the fundamental economic forces to affect the real interest rate.

In the professional world, will be discussed for some time, many fundamental influences, which are for decades in the industrial Nations, the observable decline in the real interest rate responsible for. A well-known Thesis is that the enterprises need in the course of digitalisation, less money for investments, and instead mainly in the competence of their employees, in brand name in technical innovation for which you need a lot less money than for the construction of a traditional industrial factory.

the authors of The IW study, Markus Demary and Michael Voigtländer, to emphasise, however, another fundamental reason for the low real interest rate, which will also be discussed since a long time: “Even if the interest rates are likely to increase if the Central banks tighten their monetary policy, the long-term decline in the real interest rate mainly due to demographic factors. This Trend will be permanent, because the demographic influences are likely to change.“

The demographics influenced the interest rates, because people save in the face of a higher life expectancy in the Trend. The supply of capital increases. On the other hand, the simultaneous decrease of the population makes for a lower demand for capital for investment.