National accounts, domestic product 19.5 trillion euro capital stock on a gross basis at the end of 2018

At the end of 2018, the replacement value of fixed assets available for production in the national economy amounted to Euro 19.5 trillion.

In price adjusted terms, there were 8.6 % more fixed assets than 2010 and 1.3 % more than in 2017. The capital productivity was once again up 0.2 % in 2018, because the increase of gross domestic product (1.5 %) was larger than that of capital stock. This constellation has been observed for the fifth consecutive year now. The index of capital productivity with reference year 2010 = 100 stood at 104.8 only slightly above the level of 2008 (104.0).

In national wealth accounts, the Federal Statistical Office provides selected data on non-financial assets of the national economy, in particular on the stock of fixed assets and on the stock of consumer durables of households, while the financial assets are determined by Deutsche Bundesbank. The publication issued jointly with the Deutsche Bundesbank Balance sheets for institutional sectors and the total economy is available published in October 2018. For basic information on the methods of calculating the stock of fixed assets please refer to the paper Measuring capital stock in Germany.

Results – Capital intensity

How the two production factors of capital and labor have developed in relation to each other shows the capital intensity. For that purpose the gross stock of fixed assets is put in relation to the number of persons in employment on an annual average.´In 2018, on an average of the overall economy, fixed assets to a replacement value of about Euro 436,000 were available per person in employment. Compared to a year earlier, the amount of capital invested per person in employment decreased a price adjusted remained almost constant, after falling 0.2 % the year before.

Research and development as well as weapons systems

Research and development and weapons systems were integrated in the stock of fixed assets by means of the perpetual inventory method that is usually applied in capital stock accounts. The main data input here is gross fixed capital formation determined in national accounting and estimates of the average useful life of the new product types. Data sources used for the latter were a special survey on the useful life of research and development conducted by the Stifterverband für die deutsche Wissenschaft , relevant data from the balance sheets of large enterprises, and other national and international data sources.For detailed information on research and development in national accounts please refer to the paper „Forschung und Entwicklung in den Volkswirtschaftlichen Gesamtrechnungen“ in the journal "Wirtschaft und Statistik",number 12/2014 (in German only).

As every year in August, the Federal Statistical Office reviewed and revised the results published previously for the last four years (from 2013) in the context of the first calculation of the gross domestic product for the second quarter of 2017.


For detailed explanations on the traditional methods of calculating the stock of fixed assets please refer to the paper Measuring capital stock in Germany , a slightly abridged version of a paper published in the journal Wirtschaft und Statistik 11/2006. The main changes performed as part of the 2011 revision are shown in the periodical Wirtschaft und Statistik, number 11/2012, page 933 ff. (in German only). The main changes performed as part of the 2014 revision are shown in the periodical Wirtschaft und Statistik, number 09/2014. (in German only). The stock of financial assets is calculated by Deutsche Bundesbank. The working document Fixed assets by sector provides detailed information on this topic.

Households own consumer durables to the amount of more than one billion euros

At the end of 2017, households owned consumer durables - vehicles, furniture and other household equipment - to the amount of over one trillion euros measured at current replacement costs. That was an average 26,010 euros per household. Furniture and household appliances account for over 40% of the consumer durables, while personal transport equipment accounts for another third. The rest of consumer durables comprises recreational and entertainment goods such as television sets, computers, digital cameras, motorhomes and other durable goods - in particular jewellery, clocks and watches. This does not include gold bullion, coins, antiques and similar goods, including part of the jewellery used mainly as stores of value rather than as consumer goods.

The current replacement costs of the stock of consumer durables of households rose from 607 billion euros at the end of 1991 to 1074 billion euros at the end of 2017, that is, by 77%. In price-adjusted terms, it was up by just 55% in that period. The structure in terms of value has not changed much over the past 26 years. Already in 1991, the product groups of furniture and household appliances as well as transport equipment accounted for more than three quarters of the total stock.

While the current replacement costs of recreational and entertainment goods increased by 77% between 1991 and 2017, the price-adjusted replacement value of this product group (represented by the chain index) invreased four and a half time over the past 26 years. For the other product groups, relatively moderate real changes are recorded for that period, that is, between 24% for personal transport equipment and 81% for therapeutic medical appliances and equipment as well as jewellery, clocks and watches. This suggests that the equipment of households with modern information and entertainment technology is increasing continuously and that households focus more and more on leisure activities. The real development of the stock of consumer durables at replacement value provides information on the volume of consumer durables available for use by households, irrespective of the extent to which they have been consumed. After elimination of the price effect, the development comprises the qualitative development, in addition to the quantitative development of the households' equipment with the relevant products. The replacement value of the total stock of consumer durables of households rose a real 66% in the period examined.