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Press release 016 / 2014-01-15: Moderate growth of the German economy in 2013

Consolidation of government budgets continues

WIESBADEN – On the whole, the German economy turned out to be stable on an annual average in 2013. The price-adjusted gross domestic product (GDP) was by 0.4% higher than in the previous year. This is the result of the first, provisional calculations of the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis). In the previous two years, the GDP grew more strongly (by 0.7% in 2012 and by even 3.3% in 2011). "Obviously, the German economy suffered from the continuing recession in some European countries and from restrained growth of the global economy. The strong domestic demand could offset those factors only to a limited extent", said Roderich Egeler, President of the Federal Statistical Office at a press conference on the gross domestic product 2013 held in Berlin today. However, following the weak phase last winter, the economic situation improved in the course of 2013. 

Gross domestic product, price-adjusted, chain-linked
Change on the previous year (in percent):

In calendar-adjusted terms, the GDP growth rate was slightly higher (+0.5%) because the number of working days available in 2013 was slightly smaller than in 2012. 

Gross domestic product, price- and calendar-adjusted, chain-linked
Change on the previous year (in percent):

On the use side of the gross domestic product, final consumption expenditure was the main driving force for German economic growth. Household final consumption expenditure rose a price-adjusted 0.9%, while government final consumption expenditure was up 1.1%. Gross fixed capital formation, however, decreased. In the domestic territory, gross fixed capital formation in machinery and equipment was down 2.2% on a year earlier. Price-adjusted gross fixed capital formation in construction decreased, too, though only by 0.3%. 

German foreign trade, which generally is very robust, was less dynamic on an annual average in 2013, which was due to a continuing difficult external economic environment. In price-adjusted terms, German exports of goods and services were up a total 0.6% on a year earlier. At the same time, however, imports rose by 1.3%. The balance of exports and imports thus reduced GDP growth in 2013 by making a negative contribution of –0.3 percentage points.

On the production side of the gross domestic product, most service branches increased their output in 2013. The economic sector recording a particularly large growth rate was business services (+3.4%). In construction, however, price-adjusted gross value added was down again, although the decrease in 2013 (–1.2%) was just half that of 2012. Industry (excluding construction), which accounts for a good quarter of total gross value added, roughly maintained previous year's level (–0.0%). Total price-adjusted gross value added of all economic sectors rose 0.4%, as did the GDP.

The number of persons in employment reached a record level for the seventh consecutive year in 2013 (41.8 million). However, growth in employment (+0.6%) markedly slowed down. Labour productivity (price-adjusted gross domestic product per person in employment) was down 0.2% in 2013. When measured per hour worked by persons in employment, however, labour productivity increased by 0.2% because the increase in the total number of hours worked by all persons in employment was smaller than the increase in the gross domestic product.

According to provisional calculations, general government – comprising central, state and local government and social security funds – recorded little net borrowing of 1.7 billion euros at the end of the year. Both central government and state government again reduced their deficits markedly from the previous year, whereas local government and social security funds achieved a large surplus. When measured as a percentage of gross domestic product at current prices, the deficit ratio of general government was –0.1%. General government thus showed a nearly balanced budget for 2013.  

Gross domestic product, gross national income and
net national income (factor costs)
Change on the previous year in %
At current prices 
Final consumption expenditure of households and NPISHs3.
Government final consumption expenditure2.
Gross fixed capital formation (GFCF)6.58.8–0.60.2
GFCF in machinery and equipment10.26.2–3.4–2.2
GFCF in construction4.511.11.11.5
D o m e s t i c   u s e s4.
G r o s s   d o m e s t i c   p r o d u c t   (GDP)
Gross national income4.
Net national income (factor costs)
Compensation of employees3.
Property and entrepreneurial income12.45.3–1.42.8
Disposable income of households3.
Price-adjusted, chain-linked
Final consumption expenditure of households and NPISHs1.
Government final consumption expenditure1.
Gross fixed capital formation (GFCF)5.76.9–2.1–0.8
GFCF in machinery and equipment10.05.8–4.0–2.2
GFCF in construction3.27.8–1.4–0.3
D o m e s t i c   u s e s2.42.8–0.30.7
G r o s s   d o m e s t i c   p r o d u c t   (GDP)
memorandum item:
GDP per person in employment3.51.9–0.4–0.2
GDP per hour worked by persons in employment1.
Gross value added, total4.
Industry, excluding construction16.55.5–0.4–0.0
Contributions to growth of price-adjusted GDP in percentage points
Final consumption expenditure of households and NPISHs0.
Government final consumption expenditure0.
Gross fixed capital formation (GFCF)1.01.2–0.4–0.1
GFCF in machinery and equipment0.70.4–0.3–0.1
GFCF in construction0.30.7–0.10.0
Changes in inventories, and so on0.4–0.1–0.50.0
Domestic uses2.32.6–0.30.7
Balance of exports and imports (net exports)–0.3

More detailed information on the national accounting results for 2013 is contained in the statement delivered by President Roderich Egeler at the press conference today and in the accompanying material on "Bruttoinlandsprodukt 2013 für Deutschland", which is available at (in German only). 

On 14 February 2014, the Federal Statistical Office will publish first national accounts results for the fourth quarter of 2013 and the revised results for the year 2013 (only GDP). Detailed results will be released on 25 February 2014.The results published in August 2013 for the years 1991 to 2012 have not been revised, as is always the case at this time of the year.

National accounts data may be accessed via the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) website. More detailed results are published in Fachserie 18 "National Accounts", Series 1.1 "First Annual Results". The above and other publications can be downloaded from Publications. A comprehensive quality report on national accounts is also available via the internet.

>>> brief methodological description

Detailed documents relating to the press conference are available here (only in german). 

For further information please contact:
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