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Article - Economic Situation and Cyclical Development

Economic 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 1.5 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 the overall economic development in Germany 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 spring 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 product1.40.51.5
Private consumption1.01.21.6
Public-sector consumption1.02.01.8
Gross fixed capital formation2.62.22.8
- of which equipment4.22.03.0
- buildings2.42.73.0
Other investment11 April 20161.41.7
Changes in inventories and net acquisition of valuables (contribution to GDP growth) [3]0.611 April 20160.0
Domestic demand1.91.21.8
External balance of goods and services (contribution to GDP growth) [3]-0.4-0.8-0.2
Price trend:
Private consumption [2]
Gross domestic product1.92.32.0
Gainfully active persons (in Germany)
For information purposes only:
Consumer price index1.81.51.8
absolute figures (millions)
Gainfully active persons (domestic)44.845.345.7
Unemployed persons (Federal Employment Agency)2.342.202.11

[1]Up to 2018 provisional figures from the Federal Statistical Office; as of February 2019
[2] Including non-profit-making organisations
[3] Absolute change (stocks/external balance) in per cent of pre-year GDP (= contribution to change in GDP).

Key figures on the situation of the German economy

Symbolicon für Wachstumskurve

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

Symbolicon für Lastenwagen

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

Symbolicon für Fabrik

Rise in gross fixed capital formation in per cent
in 2019 compared with the preceding year

Symbolicon für Arbeiter

More gainfully active persons in per cent
in 2019 compared with the preceding year

Current situation

The economic situation in Germany in September 2019

The German economy is currently experiencing a slow period. The subdued global economic development is affecting Germany’s export-oriented economy. While there are no signs of a significant downturn, indicators do not suggest a turnaround as yet. Output in the goods-producing industry was further curtailed. At the same time, new manufacturing orders are continuing on a downward trend. By contrast, the construction sector continues to perform well. German exports are currently flat. On the other hand, public and private spending are providing a boost to the economy. Growth in jobs on the labour market is slowing due to the subdued economic activity; the decline in unemployment, which, overall, is at a low level, did not continue in the recent period.

The German economy is is currently experiencing a slow period. After a good start to 2019 with gross domestic product rising by 0.4% in price-adjusted terms, overall economic output fell by 0.1% in the second quarter. A stronger downturn or even a pronounced recession is currently not to be expected. However, indicators are not suggesting a major change for the better as yet. The export-oriented German industry is continuing to suffer from declining world trade and stagnating global industrial activity. In the second quarter, exports to the European Union and the United Kingdom in particular declined noticeably. The domestic economy will not remain unaffected by this, but has proved to be quite robust so far. Important domestic upward forces are continuing to have an effect, albeit to a somewhat lesser extent. Private and public-sector consumer demand as well as demand for construction services are providing a steady boost to the economy. The uncertainty caused by the trade conflicts and the Brexit process is continuing. However, the global economy is gradually adjusting to the new situation while entrepreneurs are continuing to explore new business opportunities.

For more information about the economic situation in June, 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

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  • 11/10/2018 - Press release - Economic Situation and Cyclical Development

    Minister Altmaier: Upswing entering its 10th year – longest period of uninterrupted growth since 1966

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  • 31/01/2018 - Press release - Economic Situation and Cyclical Development

    “A strengthened economy ready to embrace the future”: Federal Government adopts 2018 Annual Economic Report

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Further information

Graph on the subject of Economic Development; Source: