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Press release 018 / 2019-01-15: German economy grew 1.5% in 2018

Gross domestic product, price-adjustedEnlarge picture WIESBADEN – According to first calculations of the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), the price adjusted gross domestic product (GDP) was 1.5% higher in 2018 than in the previous year. The German economy thus grew the ninth year in a row, although growth has lost momentum. In the previous two years, the price adjusted GDP had increased by 2.2% each. A longer-term view shows that German economic growth in 2018 exceeded the average growth rate of the last ten years (+1.2%).

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

As the calendar effect in 2018 was weak, the calendar-adjusted GDP growth rate was 1.5%, too

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


Contributions to growth came from consumption expenditure and capital formation in 2018

Positive contributions to growth came mainly from domestic demand in 2018. Both household final consumption expenditure (+1.0%) and government final consumption expenditure (+1.1%) were up on the previous year. However, the growth rates were markedly lower than in the preceding three years.

Total price-adjusted gross capital formation rose 4.8% year-on-year. Gross fixed capital formation in machinery and equipment was up 4.5% on the previous year. Gross fixed capital formation in construction grew by 3.0% and a particularly significant year-on-year increase was recorded for gross fixed capital formation in public civil engineering. Gross fixed capital formation in other fixed assets, which includes expenditure on research and development, was 0.4% higher than a year earlier. In addition, inventories increased in 2018, which also contributed to growth.

German exports continued to increase on an annual average in 2018, though at a slower pace than in the previous years. Price-adjusted exports of goods and services were up 2.4% on 2017. There was a larger increase in imports (+3.4%) over the same period. Arithmetically, the balance of exports and imports had a slight downward effect on the German GDP growth (-0.2 percentage points).

Gross value added higher in almost all economic sectors

On the production side of the gross domestic product, almost all sectors contributed to the positive economic trend in 2018. For the first time in five years, short-term economic growth in industry was lower than in the services sector. Total price-adjusted gross value added rose 1.5% in 2018 on the previous year.

Above-average growth rates were recorded for information and communication (+3.7%) and construction (+3.6%). In trade, transport, accommodation and food services, the growth in price adjusted gross value added was above average, too (+2.1%). In industry (excluding construction), which accounts for just over a quarter of the total economy, the relevant growth rate was below average (+1.0%) in 2018.

Number of persons in employment at new record high again

On an annual average in 2018, the economic performance in Germany was achieved by 44.8 million persons in employment whose place of employment was in Germany. According to first calculations, that was an increase of roughly 562,000 on the previous year. This 1.3% increase was mainly due to a rise in employment subject to social insurance. Higher labour force participation and the immigration of foreign workers offset age-related demographic effects, as had been the case in the preceding years.

Government budgets with record surplus

General government achieved a record surplus of 59.2 billion euros in 2018 (2017: 34.0 billion euros). At the end of the year, central, state and local government and social security funds recorded a surplus for the fifth time in a row, according to provisional calculations. Measured as a percentage of the gross domestic product at current prices, this was a 1.7% surplus ratio of general government for 2018.


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 NPISHs2.
Government final consumption expenditure4.
Gross fixed capital formation (GFCF)
D o m e s t i c   u s e s2.
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 income5.03.53.3-0.3
Disposable income of households2.
Price-adjusted, chain-linked
Final consumption expenditure of households and NPISHs1.
Government final consumption expenditure2.
Gross fixed capital formation (GFCF)
GFCF in machinery and equipment4.
GFCF in construction-
GFCF in other products5.
D o m e s t i c   u s e s1.
G r o s s   d o m e s t i c   p r o d u c t   (GDP)
GDP per person in employment0.
GDP per hour worked by persons in employment0.
Gross value added, total1.
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)
GFCF in machinery and equipment0.
GFCF in construction-
GFCF in other products0.
Changes in inventories, etc.-
Domestic uses1.
Balance of exports and imports (net exports)0.2-0.50.3-0.2

More information 

More detailed results are published in Fachserie 18 "National Accounts", Series 1.1 "First Annual Results". Detailed information on the press conference on the "Bruttoinlandsprodukt 2018 für Deutschland" is available at (only in German). 

The results published last time in November 2018 for the years 1991 to 2017 have not been revised, as is always the case at this time of the year.

First GDP results on the fourth quarter of 2018 will be released by the Federal Statistical Office on 14 February 2019. Detailed results will be released on 22 February 2019.

Other publications on national accounts and a detailed quality report are available at Publications.

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

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

Press release in other language

© Statistisches Bundesamt (Destatis), 2019

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