Germany: Economy#

The German economy - the fifth largest economy in the world in PPP terms and Europe's largest - is a leading exporter of machinery, vehicles, chemicals, and household equipment and benefits from a highly skilled labor force. Like its Western European neighbors, Germany faces significant demographic challenges to sustained long-term growth. Low fertility rates and declining net immigration are increasing pressure on the country's social welfare system and necessitate structural reforms. Reforms launched by the government of Chancellor Gerhard SCHROEDER (1998-2005), deemed necessary to address chronically high unemployment and low average growth, has contributed to strong growth and falling unemployment. These advances, as well as a government subsidized, reduced working hour scheme, help explain the relatively modest increase in unemployment during the 2008-09 recession - the deepest since World War II - and its decrease to 5.3% in 2013. The new German government introduced a minimum wage of $11 per hour to take effect in 2015. Stimulus and stabilization efforts initiated in 2008 and 2009 and tax cuts introduced in Chancellor Angela MERKEL's second term increased Germany's total budget deficit - including federal, state, and municipal - to 4.1% in 2010, but slower spending and higher tax revenues reduced the deficit to 0.8% in 2011 and in 2012 Germany reached a budget surplus of 0.1%. A constitutional amendment approved in 2009 limits the federal government to structural deficits of no more than 0.35% of GDP per annum as of 2016 though the target was already reached in 2012. Following the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, Chancellor Angela MERKEL announced in May 2011 that eight of the country's 17 nuclear reactors would be shut down immediately and the remaining plants would close by 2022. Germany hopes to replace nuclear power with renewable energy. Before the shutdown of the eight reactors, Germany relied on nuclear power for 23% of its electricity generating capacity and 46% of its base-load electricity production.

Economic Facts#

GDP (purchasing power parity)$3.227 trillion (2013 est.)
$3.211 trillion (2012 est.)
$3.182 trillion (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars
GDP - real growth rate0.5% (2013 est.)
0.9% (2012 est.)
3.4% (2011 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$39,500 (2013 est.)
$39,200 (2012 est.)
$38,900 (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars
GDP - composition, by sector of originagriculture: 0.8%
industry: 30.1%
services: 69%
(2013 est.)
Population below poverty line15.5% (2010 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 3.6%
highest 10%: 24% (2000)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 1.6%
industry: 24.6%
services: 73.8%
Exports - commoditiesmotor vehicles, machinery, chemicals, computer and electronic products, electrical equipment, pharmaceuticals, metals, transport equipment, foodstuffs, textiles, rubber and plastic products
Exports - partnersFrance 9.21%, United States 7.85%, United Kingdom 6.53%, Netherlands 6.33%, China 5.91%, Italy 5.05%, Austria 5.03%, Switzerland 4.3%, Belgium 4.04% (2013 est.)
Agriculture - productspotatoes, wheat, barley, sugar beets, fruit, cabbages; milk products; cattle, pigs, poultry
Budgetrevenues: $1.626 trillion
expenditures: $1.624 trillion (2013 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmachinery, data processing equipment, vehicles, chemicals, oil and gas, metals, electric equipment, pharmaceuticals, foodstuffs, agricultural products
Imports - partnersNetherlands 12.88%, France 7.61%, China 6.25%, Belgium 6.13%, Italy 5.31%, United Kingdom 4.61%, Austria 4.33%, United States 4.19%, Switzerland 4.3%, Austria 4.1%, Poland 4% (2013 est.)
Exchange rateseuros (EUR) per US dollar -
0.7634 (2013 est.)
0.7752 (2012 est.)
0.755 (2010 est.)
0.7198 (2009 est.)
0.6827 (2008 est.)
Exports$1.493 trillion (2013 est.)
$1.46 trillion (2012 est.)
Debt - external$5.717 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)
$5.338 trillion (31 December 2011)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
Imports$1.233 trillion (2013 est.)
$1.222 trillion (2012 est.)
Industrial production growth rate-0.3% (2013 est.)
Industriesamong the world's largest and most technologically advanced producers of iron, steel, coal, cement, chemicals, machinery, vehicles, machine tools, electronics, automobiles, food and beverages, shipbuilding, textiles
Inflation rate (consumer prices)1.6% (2013 est.)
2.1% (2012 est.)
Labor force44.2 million (2013 est.)
Unemployment rate5.3% (2013 est.)
5.5% (2012 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index27 (2006)
30 (1994)
Public debt79.9% of GDP (2013 est.)
81% of GDP (2012 est.)
note: general government gross debt is defined in the Maastricht Treaty as consolidated general government gross debt at nominal value, outstanding at the end of the year in the following categories of government liabilities (as defined in ESA95): currency and deposits (AF.2), securities other than shares excluding financial derivatives (AF.3, excluding AF.34), and loans (AF.4); the general government sector comprises the sub-sectors of central government, state government, local government and social security funds; the series are presented as a percentage of GDP and in millions of euro; GDP used as a denominator is the gross domestic product at current market prices; data expressed in national currency are converted into euro using end-of-year exchange rates provided by the European Central Bank
Current account balance$257.1 billion (2013 est.)
$238.5 billion (2012 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$248.9 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$238.9 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$3.593 trillion (2013 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$1.335 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
$1.307 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$1.871 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
$1.788 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$1.486 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)
$1.184 trillion (31 December 2011)
$1.43 trillion (31 December 2010 est.)
Central bank discount rate0.75% (31 December 2013)
1.5% (31 December 2010)
note: this is the European Central Bank's rate on the marginal lending facility, which offers overnight credit to banks in the euro area
Commercial bank prime lending rate2.8% (31 December 2013 est.)
3.07% (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$4.457 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
$4.277 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of narrow money$2.158 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
$2.025 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)
note: see entry for the European Union for money supply in the euro area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for the 17 members of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU); individual members of the EMU do not control the quantity of money circulating within their own borders
Stock of broad money$4.551 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
$4.342 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)
Taxes and other revenues45.3% of GDP (2013 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)0.1% of GDP (2013 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 57.6%
government consumption: 19.4%
investment in fixed capital: 17.5%
investment in inventories: 0.1%
exports of goods and services: 49.5%
imports of goods and services: -44.1%
(2013 est.)
Gross national saving24.7% of GDP (2013 est.)
24.3% of GDP (2012 est.)
24.4% of GDP (2011 est.)