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Germany Economy 2008

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Economy - overview:
Germany's affluent and technologically powerful economy - the fifth largest in the world in PPP terms - showed considerable improvement in 2007 with 2.6% growth. After a long period of stagnation with an average growth rate of 0.7% between 2001-05 and chronically high unemployment, stronger growth led to a considerable fall in unemployment to about 8% near the end of 2007. Among the most important reasons for Germany's high unemployment during the past decade were macroeconomic stagnation, the declining level of investment in plant and equipment, company restructuring, flat domestic consumption, structural rigidities in the labor market, lack of competition in the service sector, and high interest rates. The modernization and integration of the eastern German economy continues to be a costly long-term process, with annual transfers from west to east amounting to roughly $80 billion. The former government of Chancellor Gerhard SCHROEDER launched a comprehensive set of reforms of labor market and welfare-related institutions. The current government of Chancellor Angela MERKEL has initiated other reform measures, such as a gradual increase in the mandatory retirement age from 65 to 67 and measures to increase female participation in the labor market. Germany's aging population, combined with high chronic unemployment, has pushed social security outlays to a level exceeding contributions, but higher government revenues from the cyclical upturn in 2006-07 and a 3% rise in the value-added tax pushed Germany's budget deficit well below the EU's 3% debt limit. Corporate restructuring and growing capital markets are setting the foundations that could help Germany meet the long-term challenges of European economic integration and globalization, although some economists continue to argue the need for change in inflexible labor and services markets. Growth may fall below 2% in 2008 as the strong euro, high oil prices, tighter credit markets, and slowing growth abroad take their toll.

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$2.833 trillion (2007 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):
$3.024 trillion (2007 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:
2.6% (2007 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$34,400 (2007 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 0.9%
industry: 29.6%
services: 69.5% (2007 est.)

Labor force:
43.63 million (2007 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 2.8%
industry: 33.4%
services: 63.8% (1999)

Unemployment rate:
note: this is the International Labor Organization's estimated rate for international comparisons; Germany's Federal Employment Office estimated a seasonally adjusted rate of 10.8% (2007 est.)

Population below poverty line:
11% (2001 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 3.2%
highest 10%: 22.1% (2000)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:
28 (2005)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
2% (2007 est.)

Investment (gross fixed):
18.4% of GDP (2007 est.)

revenues: $1.465 trillion
expenditures: $1.477 trillion (2007 est.)

Public debt:
65.3% of GDP (2007 est.)

Agriculture - products:
potatoes, wheat, barley, sugar beets, fruit, cabbages; cattle, pigs, poultry

among the world's largest and most technologically advanced producers of iron, steel, coal, cement, chemicals, machinery, vehicles, machine tools, electronics, food and beverages, shipbuilding, textiles

Industrial production growth rate:
2.1% (2007 est.)

Electricity - production:
579.4 billion kWh (2005)

Electricity - consumption:
545.5 billion kWh (2005)

Electricity - exports:
61.43 billion kWh (2005)

Electricity - imports:
56.86 billion kWh (2005)

Oil - production:
141,700 bbl/day (2005)

Oil - consumption:
2.618 million bbl/day (2005)

Oil - exports:
518,700 bbl/day (2004)

Oil - imports:
2.953 million bbl/day (2004)

Oil - proved reserves:
367.2 million bbl (1 January 2006 est.)

natural gas - production:
19.9 billion cu m (2005 est.)

natural gas - consumption:
96.84 billion cu m (2005 est.)

natural gas - exports:
9.42 billion cu m (2005 est.)

natural gas - imports:
86.99 billion cu m (2005)

natural gas - proved reserves:
246.5 billion cu m (1 January 2006 est.)

Current account balance:
$185.1 billion (2007 est.)

$1.361 trillion f.o.b. (2007 est.)

Exports - commodities:
machinery, vehicles, chemicals, metals and manufactures, foodstuffs, textiles

Exports - partners:
France 9.7%, US 8.6%, UK 7.3%, Italy 6.7%, Netherlands 6.2%, Belgium 5.5%, Austria 5.5%, Spain 4.7% (2006)

$1.121 trillion f.o.b. (2007 est.)

Imports - partners:
Netherlands 11.7%, France 8.7%, Belgium 7.6%, UK 5.9%, China 5.9%, Italy 5.5%, US 5.1%, Austria 4.3%, Russia 4% (2006)

Economic aid - donor:
ODA, $5.6 billion (1998)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$111.6 billion (2006 est.)

Debt - external:
$4.489 trillion (30 June 2007)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$763.9 billion (2006 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$941.4 billion (2006 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$1.221 trillion (2005)

Currency (code):
euro (EUR)
note: on 1 January 1999, the European Monetary Union introduced the euro as a common currency to be used by financial institutions of member countries; on 1 January 2002, the euro became the sole currency for everyday transactions within the member countries

Exchange rates:
euros per US dollar - 0.7345 (2007), 0.7964 (2006), 0.8041 (2005), 0.8054 (2004), 0.886 (2003)

Fiscal year:
calendar year

NOTE: The information regarding Germany on this page is re-published from the 2008 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Germany Economy 2008 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Germany Economy 2008 should be addressed to the CIA.

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This page was last modified 24-May-08
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