GDP in Germany
Germany - GDP
German gross domestic product (GDP) is the most important measure to evaluate the performance of Germany’s economy (Economic Growth, GDP). Germany’s Federal Statistical Office publishes GDP figures on an annual and quarterly basis (GDP News). The table below shows the change of price-adjusted GDP for Germany, typically referred to as Germany’s economic growth rate. A more complete assessment of Germany’s GDP can be found below.
Germany - GDP Data
|Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)||1.7||2.2||2.5||1.5||0.6|
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Germany GDP Chart
Source: Federal Statistics Office and FocusEconomics calculations
OverviewGross domestic product (GDP) measures the economic performance of a country over a given period, typically a year or a quarter. It is therefore the most important economic indicator to evaluate the country’s economy (see our GDP page for more information on this indicator).
Germany’s GDP data (National Accounts, NA) are produced by Federal Statistical Office based on the European System of National Accounts (ESA 1995; ESA 2010 as of Q2 2014), which in turn is based on the System of National Accounts (SNA 1993). The office’s data based on ESA 1995 reach back to the beginning of 1991, the year of the German reunification. ESA 1995 data from 1970 to 1991 are only available for the former Federal Republic of Germany.
German GDP Growth Performance
In the ten years before the great recession, from 1999 to 2008, Germany’s GDP grew 1.6% on average per year. Owing to Germany’s dependence on capital goods exports, the Germany economy plummeted 5.2% in 2009, as companies around the world scaled back their investment projects in the wake of the financial crisis. The following year, Germany’s economy bounced back with a strong 4.0% expansion. The next years were overshadowed by the persistent Eurozone crisis, which dented demand in Europe’s southern countries. As a result, Germany’s economy grew a lackluster 1.5% annually between 2011 and 2013.
Structure of German Gross Domestic Product
Germany is often criticized by its partners for its investment- and export-centered growth model. The United States repeatedly urged the German government to do more to boost lackluster consumption, which the U.S. and others consider to be partly responsible for the sluggish economic growth in the Euro area as a whole. The importance of investment as a growth driver has diminished notably over the past decades. While gross fixed capital formation (GFCF) accounted for over a quarter of Germany’s economy in the early 1970s that figure has continuously declined and has been hovering around 18% over the last decade. Exports, however, continue to constitute an important pillar of Germany’s economy and the share of exports in total output has constantly risen from around 20% in the early 1970s to over 50% since 2011.
Germany’s economy is based on industry. Industry (excluding construction) accounts for over a quarter of total economic activity, one of the highest shares among advanced economies. Germany’s manufacturing industry is led by motor vehicles, machinery and chemical products, which also are Germany’s most important export items. Despite Germany’s reputation as an industrial economy, services constitute about 70% of total economic output, led by public services, education and health, which account for 18% of GDP, and real estate activities (12% of GDP).
When are German GDP Data Released?
The Federal Statistical Office publishes GDP data on a quarterly and annual basis. The quarterly and annual data are consistently linked. The first annual gross domestic product result is published in mid-January of the next year. The first quarterly GDP reading for Germany is released about 45 days after the end of the quarter, i.e. in the middle of February, May, August and November. On the same day, a press release from the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) appears with comments on the results from the Federal Statistical Office. Detailed results are then released 55 days after the end of the quarter. A detailed release calendar is available on the Federal Statistical Office’s website. The next release dates for Germany’s GDP data available on the Federal Statistical Office’s website.
How are German GDP Figures Computed?
Germany’s Federal Statistical Office calculates GDP by applying the production and expenditure approaches. The production approach determines the value added of all producers as the difference between the value of goods and services produced (output) and intermediate consumption, adding the taxes on products (such as tobacco, mineral oil and value added tax), and subtracting the subsidies on products. In addition, the statistical office measures the gross domestic product through the demand side. The expenditure approach calculates the expenditure for the final use of goods and services, i.e. final consumption expenditure of households and government final consumption expenditure, capital formation and the balance of exports and imports (net exports). The statistical discrepancies between the numbers based on the production approach and the expenditure approach are removed. Germany’s national accounts statistics are mainly consistent with its balance of payments and government finance statistics.
How Accurate are German GDP Numbers?
The Federal Statistical Office publishes the first release of gross domestic product data to meet users’ needs for up-to-date results. However, the office acknowledges that the data basis is not yet complete at the date of the early first release. The provisional figures are revised several times as more statistical information becomes available. The Federal Statistical Office publishes final gross domestic product data after about four years. In addition, the office publishes so-called major revisions. Those revisions introduce new concepts and definitions and contain the results of new surveys or censuses. According to the Federal Statistical Office, provisional results fall below or exceed final results approximately by half a percentage point. For some GDP components the average revision is much larger. Press releases include specific information on which data have been revised.
The Federal Statistical Office performed a comprehensive major revision of the national accounts in summer 2014, when all Eurostat member states switched from the European System of National and Regional Accounts 1995 (ESA 1995) to ESA 2010. The ESA 2010 was first applied for the calculation of the German national accounting data for the second quarter of 2014, first released on 14 August 2014. The statistical office revised the GDP time series back to 1991 to provide a methodologically consistent time series after the changeover.
Why are German GDP data important?
GDP growth is generally considered as the most important indicator to measure the economic performance of a country. The rate of change of the real gross domestic product (GDP) is referred to as economic growth and is the best gauge of an economy’s ups and downs. It is particularly useful for short-term analysis. Next to the headline GDP growth figure, the GDP report is packed with important information that provides an in-depth view on the state of the German economy. Germany is Europe’s largest economy and the fourth largest in the world, therefore German GDP growth data have a notable impact in the market and are closely watched.
Where Can I Get forecasts for Germany’s GDP?
Forecasts for German GDP growth are elaborated by many sources. The government, banks, consultancies and think tanks closely watch the German economy and regularly update their projections for German GDP growth. FocusEconomics collects more than 30 different forecasts on German GDP and provides an average (Consensus Forecast) from the economists surveyed. Together with the minimum and the maximum projections for German GDP growth, you get a comprehensive overview on Germany’s future GDP growth rates.
Forecasts for Germany’s GDP growth are included in the monthly FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast for Germany, the monthly FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast for the Euro Area and the monthly Major Economies (G7 and BRIC) report. All reports are either available on an ad-hoc basis or via an annual subscription (including optional Excel support). Download a free sample or purchase directly in our online store. The report is immediately available after the purchase.
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