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Germany Economy 2008


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): $2.807 trillion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $3.322 trillion (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 2.5% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $34,100 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 0.9% industry: 30.1% services: 69% (2007 est.)
Labor force: 43.54 million (2007 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 2.8% industry: 33.4% services: 63.8% (1999)
Unemployment rate: 9% 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.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 3.2% highest 10%: 22.1% (2000)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 28 (2005)
Investment (gross fixed): 18.5% of GDP (2007 est.)
Budget: revenues: $1.454 trillion expenditures: $1.453 trillion (2007 est.)
Public debt: 64.9% of GDP (2007 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.3% (2007 est.)
Central bank discount rate: NA
Commercial bank prime lending rate: 5.96% (31 December 2007)
Stock of money: NA note: see entry for the European Union for money supply in the Euro Area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for the 15 members of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU); individual members of the EMU do not control the quantity of money and quasi money circulating within their own borders
Stock of quasi money: NA
Stock of domestic credit: $5.081 trillion (31 December 2007)
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: 5.2% (2007 est.)
Electricity - production: 594.7 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 549.1 billion kWh (2006 est.)
Electricity - exports: 62.51 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - imports: 46.13 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Oil - production: 148,100 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - consumption: 2.456 million bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - exports: 563,400 bbl/day (2005)
Oil - imports: 3.026 million bbl/day (2005)
Oil - proved reserves: 367 million bbl (1 January 2008 est.)
Natural gas - production: 17.96 billion cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 97.44 billion cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 12.22 billion cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 88.35 billion cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 254.8 billion cu m (1 January 2008 est.)
Current account balance: $254.5 billion (2007 est.)
Exports: $1.354 trillion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports - commodities: machinery, vehicles, chemicals, metals and manufactures, foodstuffs, textiles
Exports - partners: France 9.7%, US 7.5%, UK 7.3%, Italy 6.7%, Netherlands 6.4%, Austria 5.4%, Belgium 5.3%, Spain 5% (2007)
Imports: $1.075 trillion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery, vehicles, chemicals, foodstuffs, textiles, metals
Imports - partners: Netherlands 12%, France 8.6%, Belgium 7.8%, China 6.2%, Italy 5.8%, UK 5.6%, US 4.5%, Austria 4.4% (2007)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $136.2 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt - external: $4.489 trillion (30 June 2007)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $855.8 billion (2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $1.218 trillion (2007 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $1.221 trillion (2005)
Currency (code): euro (EUR)
Exchange rates: euros (EUR) per US dollar - 0.7345 (2007), 0.7964 (2006), 0.8041 (2005), 0.8054 (2004), 0.886 (2003)

NOTE: The economy 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.