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Press release 168 / 2018-05-15: Gross domestic product up 0.3% in the 1st quarter of 2018

Gross domestic product, 1st quarter of 2018

  • +0.3% on the previous quarter (price-, seasonally and calendar-adjusted)
  • +1.6% on the same quarter a year earlier (price-adjusted)
  • +2.3% on the same quarter a year earlier (price- and calendar-adjusted)

WIESBADEN – The German economy continued to grow also at the beginning of the year, though at a slower pace. The Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) also reports that the gross domestic product (GDP) increased 0.3% - upon price, seasonal and calendar adjustment - in the first quarter of 2018 compared with the fourth quarter of 2017. This is the 15th quarter-on-quarter growth in a row, contributing to the longest upswing phase since 1991. Last year, there were higher GDP growth rates (+0.7% in the third quarter and +0.6% in the fourth quarter of 2017). 

In a quarter-on-quarter comparison (adjusted for price, seasonal and calendar variations), positive contributions were made by domestic demand, according to provisional calculations. Capital formation increased substantially. Fixed capital formation, especially in construction but also in machinery and equipment, was markedly up compared with the fourth quarter of 2017. Households slightly increased their final consumption expenditure at the beginning of the year. Government final consumption expenditure, however, decreased for the first time in just under five years and had a downward effect on economic growth. Also, according to provisional calculations, development of foreign trade was less dynamic because both exports and imports decreased on the previous quarter. 

Economic growth decelerated somewhat also in a year-on-year comparison. The price-adjusted GDP in the first quarter of 2018 was up by 1.6% compared with the first quarter of 2017. When adjusted for the rather strong calendar effect, caused by the timing of public holidays, GDP growth was 2.3%. In the third quarter of 2017, the calendar-adjusted GDP was up by 2.7% year-on-year, in the fourth quarter of 2017 by 2.9%. 

The economic performance in the first quarter of 2018 was achieved by 44.3 million persons in employment, which was an increase of 609,000, or 1.4%, on a year earlier. 

In addition to calculating first data for the first quarter of 2018, the Federal Statistical Office reviewed the national accounting results published previously for the quarters and the year of 2017. This did not result in any changes of the gross domestic product data published so far. 

Gross domestic product, Price-adjusted, chain-linked
 Unadjusted figuresFigures according to Census X-12-ARIMA
Seasonally and
Calendar-adjusted 1Calendar-effect
2010 = 100%22010 = 100%32010 = 100%2%2
1 For years the calendar-adjusted values are identical with the seasonally and calendar-adjusted values (except for differences due to rounding).
2 Change on the previous year or the same quarter of the preceding year in %.
3 Change on the previous year or previous quarter in %.
qtr = quarter
2017113.13 2.2 113.26 2.5 113.26 2.5 –0.3 
20171st qtr112.55 3.4 112.14 0.9 111.78 2.1  1.2 
2nd qtr111.86 1.0 112.85 0.6 112.17 2.3 –1.3 
3rd qtr115.17 2.2 113.68 0.7 115.58 2.7 –0.4 
4th qtr112.94 2.3 114.37 0.6 113.51 2.9 –0.6 
20181st qtr114.37 1.6 114.71 0.3 114.36 2.3 –0.7 
Gross domestic product at current prices
 Unadjusted figuresSeasonally and calendar-adjusted
figures according to
Census X-12-ARIMA
EUR billionChange in %1EUR billionChange in %2

1 Change on the previous year or the same quarter of the preceding year in %.
2 Change on the previous year or previous quarter in %.

qtr = quarter

20173,263.350 3.8 3,267.265 4.1 


1st qtr798.080 4.3 801.039 1.0 
2nd qtr804.390 2.6 812.754 1.5 
3rd qtr831.050 4.3 823.972 1.4 
4th qtr829.830 4.0 829.500 0.7 
20181st qtr825.860 3.5 834.612 0.6 

More detailed results on the first quarter of 2018 will be released by the Federal Statistical Office on 24 May 2018.

A long time series with quarterly results on the gross domestic product starting with the first quarter of 1970 is available here.

>>> brief methodological description

For further information:
National accounts info team,
tel: +49 (0) 611 / 75 26 26,
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