Germany

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Economics

Economy - overview

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. The modernization and integration of the eastern German economy - where unemployment can exceed 20% in some municipalities - continues to be a costly long-term process, with annual transfers from west to east amounting in 2008 alone to roughly $12 billion. Reforms launched by the government of Chancellor Gerhard SCHROEDER (1998-2005), deemed necessary to address chronically high unemployment and low average growth, contributed to strong growth in 2006 and 2007 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 7.4% in 2010. GDP contracted 4.7% in 2009 but grew by 3.6% in 2010. In its annual projection for 2011, the Federal Government expects the upswing to continue, with GDP forecast to grow this year at a real rate of 2.3%. The recovery was attributable primarily to rebounding manufacturing orders and exports - increasingly outside the Euro Zone. Domestic demand, however, is becoming more significant driver of Germany's economic expansion. Stimulus and stabilization efforts initiated in 2008 and 2009 and tax cuts introduced in Chancellor Angela MERKEL's second term increased Germany's budget deficit to 3.3% in 2010. The Bundesbank expects the deficit to drop to about 2.5% in 2011, below the EU's 3% limit. A constitutional amendment approved in 2009 likewise limits the federal government to structural deficits of no more than 0.35% of GDP per annum as of 2016.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$2.94 trillion (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 6

$2.841 trillion (2009 est.)

$2.98 trillion (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

 

GDP (official exchange rate):

$3.316 trillion (2010 est.)

 

GDP - real growth rate:

3.5% (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 109

-4.7% (2009 est.)

0.7% (2008 est.)

 

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$35,700 (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 33

$34,500 (2009 est.)

$36,200 (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

 

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 0.9%

industry: 27.8%

services: 71.3% (2010 est.)

 

Labor force:

43.49 million (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 14

 

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 2.4%

industry: 29.7%

services: 67.8% (2005)

 

Unemployment rate:

7.1% (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 72

7.7% (2009 est.)

note: this is the International Labor Organization's estimated rate for international comparisons; Germany's Federal Employment Agency estimated a seasonally adjusted rate of 10.8%

 

Population below poverty line:

15.5% (2010 est.)

 

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 3.6%

highest 10%: 24% (2000)

 

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

27 (2006)

country comparison to the world: 130

30 (1994)

 

Investment (gross fixed):

18.1% of GDP (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 143

 

Budget:

revenues: $1.427 trillion

expenditures: $1.535 trillion (2010 est.)

 

Taxes and other revenues:

43% of GDP (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 32

 

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):

-3.3% of GDP (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 104

 

Public debt:

83.4% of GDP (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 16

73.5% of GDP (2009 est.)

 

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

1.1% (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 30

0.3% (2009 est.)

 

Central bank discount rate:

1.75% (31 December 2010)

country comparison to the world: 115

1.75% (31 December 2009)

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 rate:

3.77% (31 December 2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 163

4.96% (31 December 2009 est.)

 

Stock of narrow money:

$1.747 trillion (31 December 2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 5

$1.729 trillion (31 December 2009 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:

$4.173 trillion (31 December 2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 5

$4.323 trillion (31 December 2009 est.)

 

Stock of domestic credit:

$5.2 trillion (31 December 2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 5

$5.019 trillion (31 December 2008 est.)

 

Market value of publicly traded shares:

$1.43 trillion (31 December 2010)

country comparison to the world: 9

$1.298 trillion (31 December 2009)

$1.108 trillion (31 December 2008)

 

Agriculture - products:

potatoes, wheat, barley, sugar beets, fruit, cabbages; cattle, pigs, poultry

 

Industries:

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:

10.8% (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 21

 

Electricity - production:

556.4 billion kWh (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 8

 

Electricity - consumption:

544.5 billion kWh (2008 est.)

country comparison to the world: 8

 

Electricity - exports:

54.13 billion kWh (2009 est.)

 

Electricity - imports:

12.28 billion kWh (2009 est.)

 

Oil - production:

147,200 bbl/day (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 46

 

Oil - consumption:

2.495 million bbl/day (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 9

 

Oil - exports:

470,200 bbl/day (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 31

 

Oil - imports:

2.671 million bbl/day (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 7

 

Oil - proved reserves:

276 million bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 57

 

Natural gas - production:

12.65 billion cu m (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 35

 

Natural gas - consumption:

99.5 billion cu m (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 7

 

Natural gas - exports:

16.19 billion cu m (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 14

 

Natural gas - imports:

99.63 billion cu m (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 2

 

Natural gas - proved reserves:

175.6 billion cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 48

 

Current account balance:

$188.4 billion (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 2

$188.6 billion (2009 est.)

 

Exports:

$1.303 trillion (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 3

$1.161 trillion (2009 est.)

 

Exports - commodities:

machinery, vehicles, chemicals, metals and manufactures, foodstuffs, textiles

 

Exports - partners:

France 10.1%, US 6.7%, UK 6.6%, Netherlands 6.6%, Italy 6.3%, Austria 5.7%, Belgium 5.2%, China 4.7%, Switzerland 4.5% (2009)

 

Imports:

$1.099 trillion (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 4

$972.5 billion (2009 est.)

 

Imports - commodities:

machinery, vehicles, chemicals, foodstuffs, textiles, metals

 

Imports - partners:

Netherlands 13%, France 8.2%, Belgium 7.2%, China 6.8%, Italy 5.6%, UK 4.7%, Austria 4.4%, US 4.2%, Switzerland 4.1% (2009)

 

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$216.5 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 12

$180.8 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

 

Debt - external:

$4.713 trillion (30 June 2010)

country comparison to the world: 4

$5.158 trillion (31 December 2008)

 

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

$956.6 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 5

$999.7 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

 

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

$1.427 trillion (31 December 2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 4

$1.358 trillion (31 December 2009 est.)

 

Exchange rates:

euros (EUR) per US dollar -

0.755 (2010)

0.7198 (2009)

0.6827 (2008)

0.7345 (2007)

0.7964 (2006)