The history of the German economy

The German Economy

Germany is the largest economic system in Europe. Harmonizing to the CIA World Factbook it is the “ 5th largest economic system in the universe in Palatopharyngoplasty footings ” This is non surprising as it is, after Russia, the 2nd most thickly settled state in Europe with a population of 82.3 million. This immense, cardinal European economic system is a consequence of the 1990 amalgamation between the superior Federal Republic of Germany ( West Germany ) and that of the German Democratic Republic ( East Germany ) . This amalgamation of two really distinguishable economic systems has non been an easy procedure and the reintegration and modernization of the eastern German economic system after the prostration of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics ( USSR ) is an on-going ( and dearly-won ) procedure. Economic criterions in the E are much lower than those in the West and harmonizing to the CIA World Factbook: in 2008 “ one-year transportations from West to east ” came “ to approximately $ 12 billion. ”[ 2 ]The authorities, under Gerard Schroeder, launched reforms to battle the inveterate high unemployment rate and low mean growing rate which resulted in strong growing in 2006 and 2007 and falling unemployment which reached a record depression of 7.8 % . Germany is a major “ exporter of machinery, vehicles, chemicals, and family equipment and benefits from a extremely skilled labor force. ”[ 3 ]Germany is the universe ‘s 2nd largest exporter, after China, with $ 1.159 trillion exported in 2009.[ 4 ]This makes up over a 3rd of Germany ‘s entire end product. The huge bulk of Germany ‘s merchandises are in technology, particularly in machinery, metals, chemicals and most famously cars.[ 5 ]Some of the largest auto makers in the universe are located in Germany. These include Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, Porsche and Volkswagen.

Unlike many European states, such as the UK and France where the capital metropolis dominates the national economic system, Germany does non hold a individual economic Centre: it is a poly-centric state. Merely 3 of Germany ‘s 100 largest companies are headquartered in the capital Berlin. The stock exchange is located in Frankfurt am Main, the largest Media company is headquartered in Gutersloh ; the most of import auto makers are in Wolfsburg, Stuttgart and Munchen.

Economic History of Germany

After World War 2 Germany ballad in ruins. People ‘s land, their places, and their belongings ballad in ruin. Millions of people were force to emigrate and those that stayed behind frequently did n’t hold adequate nutrient or apparels for their households. Inflation was astronomical and “ Parker pens, nylon stockings, and Camel coffin nails represented the accepted, if non the legal, stamp of the clip. ”[ 6 ]Unemployment was really high at this clip.

The authorities of the clip saw an chance to make from the ruin a new, more stable economic system. One which would supply equal chances to all and would avoid the creative activity of “ underprivileged societal groups ” which can take to “ revolution and — in turn-repression ”[ 7 ]The German authorities believed that the creative activity of a stable economic system would intend a more stable society something I besides believe in. One of the first steps the state took was currency reform where the old Reichsmark was replaced by the new deutsch grade which took topographic point on the 20th June 1948. “ The pecuniary, economic and institutional reforms of June 1948 were followed by about 18 months of consolidation with stable to somewhat falling monetary values. ”[ 8 ]This period of self-generated growing is referred to as the miracle economic system.

Due to the economic reforms West Germany received a batch of support from investing financess for European recovery such as the Marshall program. There was an unbelievable economic roar in the old ages following 1950 as a consequence of this. “ The growing rate of industrial production was 25.0 per centum in 1950 and 18.1 per centum in 1951. ”[ 9 ]This rapid growing continued throughout the fiftiess with some occasional lags. By 1960 the degree of industrial production had risen to two and a half times that of 1950. During the same decennary GDP rose by two-thirds. There were besides dramatic alterations in the unemployment rate over this period as it fell from 10.3 per centum in 1950 to 1.2 per centum in 1960.[ 10 ]

During the 60s the economic system did non turn every bit quickly as it had done during the fifties in portion due to the fact that such an utmost gait of growing could non be sustained. One of the consequences of this lag was the election of a new authorities with new economic policies at the terminal of 1966. Over the following decennary there were major alterations in the manner the authorities viewed its function in the states economic system. The new authorities ‘s economic thoughts were much more closely linked with those of Keynesians than the free market policies employed by their predecessors. “ In 1967 the Bundestag passed the Law for Promoting Stability and Growth aˆ¦ That jurisprudence aˆ¦ provided for coordination of federal aˆ¦ and local budget programs in order to give financial policy a stronger impact. ”[ 11 ]This authorities was voted out of office in 1972 when the German economic system was in a downswing despite all their best attempts and authorities intercessions.

Information for graph from Penn World Table.[ 12 ]

We can clearly see from the graph the dramatic planetary downswing in 1972 and the consequence that an rush in oil monetary values in 1973-1974 had on West German growing rates. By 1976 the worst was over and growing began to restart but the economic system once more turned down and despite authorities attempts to excite growing, failed to resuscitate rapidly. It was merely by mid-1978 that the Bankss and the authorities were able to convey the economic system into balance. After that, the economic system continued spread outing through 1979 and much of 1980. But the upturn proved to be uneven and unrewarding, as the jobs of the mid-1970s quickly returned. By early 1981, the state faced the worst possible state of affairs: growing fell and unemployment rose, but rising prices did non slake.[ 13 ]

During most of the 1980s, the figures on growing and rising prices improved really easy, and the figures on unemployment hardly moved at all. There was small occupation growing until the terminal of the decennary. It was merely in the late eightiess that Germany ‘s economic system eventually began to turn more quickly. The growing rate for German GDP rose to 3.7 per centum in 1988 and 3.6 per centum in 1989, the highest degrees of the decennary. The unemployment rate besides fell to 7.6 per centum in 1989, despite an inflow of workers from abroad.[ 14 ]1989 was the last twelvemonth of a separate West German economic system.

Both Economies were rather similar around the clip of fusion with similar merchandises and industries but their exports were in different waies. Fusion occurred on the 1st of July 1990 it was a landmark minute in universe economic sciences as it was the first clip that “ a capitalist and a socialist economic system had all of a sudden become one, and there were no precise guidelines on how it could be done. ”[ 15 ]Of class this resulted in jobs such as “ the relatively hapless productiveness of the former East German economic system and its links to the fall ining socialist economic systems of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. ”[ 16 ]One of the first stairss taken by the West German authorities was to privatize the East German economic system. Investors were afraid to put in East Germany as there were a batch of differences sing belongings ownership ensuing from old ages of “ Nazi, Soviet, and subsequently GDR expropriations ” which “ had taken topographic point between 1933 and 1989 ” .[ 17 ]Another job which discouraged investing was the really hapless criterion of substructure in East Germany. Despite all these jobs the fusion continued, easy. Immediately after fusion the economic system of East Germany went into a downswing. Unemployment at this clip rose to over 3 million people and industrial production fell to half its old sum. East German economic growing was really slow partially due to the fact that really small money was being invested to give the East German economic system the jump-start it so severely needed with merely 1 % of GDP being invested in the part. In contrast to the recession being experienced in the East the Western economic system went into a little upturn with GDP for 1990 turning at a rate of 4.6 per centum.[ 18 ]The unemployment rate besides fell to 7.2 per centum. This dramatic betterment is attributed to the coincident opening up of a big new market of some 16 million people and the handiness of a big new work force. This new addition was similar to the dramatic growing experienced during the old ages of the economic miracle. To avoid high rising prices at this clip the Bankss raised involvement rates aggressively from “ 7.1 per centum in 1989 to 8.5 per centum in 1990, to 9.2 per centum in 1991, and to 9.5 per centum in 1992. ”[ 19 ]As the Bankss policies began to take consequence the economic growing slowed with growing rates falling “ from 4.2 per centum in the first one-fourth of 1991 to 0.8 per centum in the last one-fourth of 1992. For all of 1992, the western German growing rate was 1.5 per centum, a diminution from the 3.7 per centum rate of 1991 and even more from the 4.6 per centum rate of 1990. ”[ 20 ]This crisp bead in growing rates can be clearly seen on the graph. At the same clip the East German economic system was go oning to turn at a steady rate and in 1992 GDP rose for the first clip to over $ 3 trillion. The sum of unemployed besides reached a new record high with 4 million people unemployed ( the bulk of whom were from East Germany ) .

As we can see in the graph the worst period of growing for the German economic system in recent times was in the early 00 ‘s. The worst growing figures were achieved in 2001 ( 0.71 % ) , in 2002 ( -0.71 % ) and in 2002 ( -0.17 % ) .


The gross domestic merchandise ( GDP ) or value of all concluding goods and services produced within a state in a given twelvemonth.

Germany ‘s GDP is $ 3.353 trillion ( 2009 est ) .

Like most European states the service sector contributes the most to Germany ‘s GDP ( about 72.3 % ) , after this is industry ( 26.8 % ) and agribusiness ( 0.9 % ) .

Information for graphs from UN Statistical Database.[ 21 ]

The GDP per capita is $ 40.726 ( 2009 est )



Unemployment describes the province of a worker who is able and willing to take work but can non happen it.

Germany has a labour force of 43.5 million of which the bulk are employed in the services sector. Their current unemployment rate is around 7.5 % ( 2009 est ) . In East Germany unemployment is a serious job as it is much higher than in the West of the state. Unemployment can transcend 20 % in some municipalities in East Germany.[ 22 ]