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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 December 2019

The German economy remains fairly flat. However, some initial signals show an increased likelihood of an end to the downturn in industry and thus a gradual improvement across the economy. Industrial output is still trending downwards, whilst new orders seem to be stabilising. Construction output is subject to monthly fluctuations, but remains at a high level. The indicators of consumer spending are restrained at the beginning of the fourth quarter. However, disposable income is continuing to rise. German exports increased significantly both in October and in the third quarter as a whole. Despite the weak economy, latest figures show the labour market developing more positively again.

According to the indicators, the German economy remains fairly flat in the final quarter of the year. However, there are some first glimmers of hope. In the third quarter, economic output rose only marginally, by 0.1% from the preceding quarter. In the services and construction sectors, growth remains solid, mainly driven by domestic factors. However, industry is continuing to suffer from the low global level of investment, triggered not least by the trade conflicts. It is probably yet to bottom out, but its new orders and turnover have stabilised at a low level in recent months. The same goes for the business climate, in which the expectations brightened somewhat in October and November. Not least, exports have picked up speed since the middle of the year. All of this suggests that the industrial sector is gradually stabilising and might even see a slight uptick from the new year. Naturally, the uncertainties remain high in view of the difficult external economic environment, and it therefore is necessary to wait and see the extent to which the fragile positive signals firm up.

For more information about the economic situation in December, 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.

    Open detail view
  • 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: