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National accounts

Detailed gross domestic product results for the 4th quarter of 2013

The German economy continued to grow moderately at the end of the year. The gross domestic product (GDP) increased by 0.4% – upon price, seasonal and calendar adjustment – in the fourth quarter of 2013 compared with the third quarter of 2013. In the second and third quarters of 2013, too, the German economy had grown (by 0.7% and 0.3%, respectively), after a stagnation at the beginning of the year. Regarding the year 2013 as a whole, the increase amounted to 0.4% (calendar-adjusted: +0.5%). This is in line with the results of the first calculations of January 2014.

In a quarter-on-quarter comparison (upon price, seasonal and calendar adjustment), positive contributions were made mainly by foreign trade. According to provisional calculations, exports increased more considerably than imports. Compared with the third quarter of 2013, exports of goods and services were up 2.6%. Imports increased by not more than 0.6% in the same period. Consequently, the balance of exports and imports contributed 1.1 percentage points to GDP growth and was thus the key economic engine in the period under review.

As regards domestic demand, different developments were reported. Gross fixed capital formation both in machinery and equipment and in construction rose markedly compared with the third quarter of 2013 (+1.4% each). However, inventories declined considerably, which slowed down economic growth (–0.8 percentage points). Final consumption expenditure changed only marginally. While government final consumption expenditure remained unchanged at the level of the previous quarter, household final consumption expenditure was slightly lower (–0.1%).

The following information refers to the year-on-year comparison:

Compared with a year earlier, economic growth accelerated in the course of 2013. The price-adjusted GDP rose 1.3% in the fourth quarter of 2013 (calendar-adjusted: +1.4%), after +1.1% in the third quarter (calendar-adjusted: +0.6%) and +0.9% in the second quarter (calendar-adjusted: +0.5%).

The economic performance in the fourth quarter of 2013 was achieved by 42.2 million persons in employment whose place of employment was in Germany. That was an increase of 243,000 or 0.6% on a year earlier.

Overall labour productivity (price-adjusted GDP per person in employment) increased by 0.7% in the fourth quarter of 2013 compared with the same quarter of 2012. As first provisional calculations show, it was also up 0.7% on a year earlier when measured per hour worked by persons in employment.

In a year-on-year comparison, too, positive contributions to growth were made mainly by foreign trade in the fourth quarter of 2013. In price-adjusted terms, exports of goods and services were up 4.1% on a year earlier. Imports did not increase to the same extent (+2.7%) in the same period. As a result, the balance of exports and imports contributed 0.9 percentage points to GDP growth compared with a year earlier.

Price-adjusted domestic demand was also higher than a year before: final consumption expenditure of both households and general government rose by 1.0% on a year earlier. Gross fixed capital formation in machinery and equipment was as high as in the fourth quarter of 2012, so the downward trend of the last eighteen months was stopped. Gross fixed capital formation in construction was markedly higher at the end of 2013 than a year earlier (+3.3%). On the whole, domestic uses were up 0.4 % on the fourth quarter of 2012.

On the production side of the gross domestic product, the price-adjusted gross value added was higher in the last quarter of 2013 than a year earlier in almost all economic sectors: the largest increase in economic performance was recorded in construction (+4.6%), which is due at least partly to the extremely mild weather. Both business services (+4.1%) and manufacturing (+3.0%) also managed to increase their economic performance markedly until year-end. On the whole, the price-adjusted gross value added of all economic sectors was up 1.5% on the fourth quarter of 2012.

At current prices, the gross domestic product was up by 3.4% and the gross national income by 3.6% in the fourth quarter of 2013 on the fourth quarter of 2012. The net national income (at factor costs) rose by a total of 4.4%, with its two components not contributing equally: while the compensation of employees increased by only 2.6%, property and entrepreneurial income rose by 8.9% according to first provisional calculations. Gross wages and salaries of employees were up by 2.8%, net wages and salaries by 2.3% on a year earlier. On average, however, gross wages and salaries per employee rose by a mere 2.0% and net wages and salaries by only 1.6%. The disposable income of households increased by 2.5% and thus as much as the final consumption expenditure of households at current prices. This resulted in a provisional savings ratio of households of 8.8% in the fourth quarter of 2013.3

Additional Information

Press releases

Private consumption expenditure rose to almost 1.6 trillion euros in 2013

Detailed gross domestic product results for the 4th quarter of 2013

Balanced government budget in 2013 – Maastricht ratio at +0.0%

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