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Article - Economic Situation and Cyclical Development

Economic Situation and Cyclical Development


The German economy is continuing to grow, making this year the tenth successive year of expansion. The Federal Government expects price-adjusted gross domestic product to grow by 0.5% in 2019 and by 1.0 per cent in 2020. Both the labour market and wages have continued to develop positively. Together with cuts in taxes and charges, this is resulting in a rise in personal disposable income.

Three times a year, the Federal Government submits a projection of Germany’s overall economic development under the lead responsibility of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. The annual projection is published by the Federal Government each January as part of the Annual Economic Report. The spring and autumn projections serve as a basis for the Working Party on Tax Revenue Forecasting to estimate the tax revenues. The budgets of the Federal Government, the Länder, municipalities and social insurance funds are based on the forecast key overall economic figures. The information provided to the European Union in the context of the Stability and Growth Pact is also based on these projections.

The Federal Government forecasts the economic development in the short term and in the medium term and the production potential. These estimates serve as the basis for the calculation of the maximum annual net new borrowing in the context of the 'debt brake' under Articles 109 and 115 of the German Basic Law. You can find projections from preceding years in the Archive (in German).

You can find the current estimates from the Annual Economic Report here.

Overview of 2019 autumn projection

Selected key figures for macroeconomic trends in the Federal Republic of Germany [1]

GDP by expenditure (adjusted for price) [1]201820192020
Percentage change on preceding year
Gross domestic product1.50.51.0
Private consumption1.31.41.2
Public-sector consumption1.32.22.1
Gross fixed capital formation3.52.51.9
- of which equipment4.40.61.0
- buildings2.53.82.2
Other investment4.32.53.0
Changes in inventories and net acquisition of valuables (contribution to GDP growth) [3]0.3-0.60.0
Domestic demand2.11.21.5
External balance of goods and services (contribution to GDP growth) [3]-0.4-0.6-0.4
Price trend:
Private consumption [2]
Gross domestic product1.52.31.9
Gainfully active persons (in Germany)
For information purposes only:
Consumer price index1.81.51.6
absolute figures (millions)
Gainfully active persons (domestic)44.945.245.4
Unemployed persons (Federal Employment Agency)2.342.272.31

[1]Up to 2019 provisional figures from the Federal Statistical Office; as of August 2019;
[2]In 2020, calendar-adjusted growth is 0.6%, the rate over the course of the year is 1.1%;
[3] Including non-profit-making organisations;
[4] Absolute change in net foreign demand in per cent of pre-year GDP (= contribution to change in GDP).

Key figures on the situation of the German economy

Symbolicon für Wachstumskurve

per cent rise in gross domestic product (GDP)
in 2019 compared with the preceding year

Symbolicon für Lastenwagen

per cent rise in exports
in 2019 compared with the preceding year

Symbolicon für Geld

per cent rise in consumer spending
in 2019 compared with the preceding year

Symbolicon für Arbeiter

million more people in work
in 2019 compared with the preceding year

Current situation

The Economic Situation in the Federal Republic of Germany in October 2019

The German economy remains soft. The global cyclical downturn is affecting the German economy. While there are no signs of a cyclical crisis, indicators do not suggest a turnaround as yet. Industrial output and new industrial orders were trending downwards, whilst construction output remained flat at a high level. German exports were continuing their slight decline. On the other hand, public and private spending are still providing a substantial boost to the economy. Growth in jobs on the labour market is slowing due to the subdued economic activity. Most recent figures show a surprising slight fall in what is already a low level of unemployment.

The German economy remains soft. Its level of economic activity is currently stuck at roughly the existing level. The fall in value creation in industry, which remains on a downward path, is largely offset by growth in services and construction. The relevant cyclical indicators do not yet signal a fundamental change in the cyclical situation. However, a stronger downturn or even a pronounced recession is currently not to be expected. The export-oriented German industry continues to be faced with weak global trade, flat global industrial output, and a global softening of demand for vehicles. This is affecting the propensity to invest in Germany and feeding through to domestic demand for intermediate and capital goods. The impact on the less export-dependent parts of the domestic economy has so far been relatively small. At the same time, private and public-sector consumer demand as well as demand for construction services are providing a steady boost to the economy.

For more information about the economic situation in October, please click here.

Latest press releases

Press releases

  • 17/04/2019 - Press release - Economic Situation and Cyclical Development

    Minister Altmaier: Slow period is over, but should serve as a warning: we need to keep improving the business environment.

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  • 30/01/2019 - Press release - Economic Situation and Cyclical Development

    Minister Altmaier: To develop the economy, we need to focus on stimulating growth and on technologies for the future

    Open detail view

Further information

Graph on the subject of Economic Development; Source: