Due to the financial crisis and its repercussions on the economy German GDP increased by just 1.3% in real figures in the year 2008 as compared to the previous year according to the Federal Statistical Office. This is significantly less than in the preceding years (2007: +2.5%; 2006: +3.0%). Growth impulses in the year 2008 came exclusively from within Germany. The most important contribution to the economic development came from gross investment. Investment in equipment and machinery increased by 5.3% and that in the construction industry by 2.7%.
Private consumption stagnated and that of federal, regional and local authorities increased by 2.2% in real figures in the year 2008.
The foreign trade balance closed with a minus of -0.3 percent and therefore was no driver of the German economy in 2008. The foreign trade balance is calculated from the difference between import and export of goods and services. The negative balance is due to a small increase in exports of 3.9% while imports grew by 5.2%.
The actual economic development in Germany last year fell significantly short of the growth forecast given by the German government (+1.7%). In particular the development in the processing industry showed a significant downward trend. According to the Federal Statistical Office, the German economy has been going through a recession since the second half of 2008.
German GDP was generated by on average 40.4 million gainfully employed people in 2008 which is an increase by 1.5% or 582,000 people as compared to the year 2007.
The budget deficit incurred by the German state amounted to 1.6 billion Euros in 2008 which translates into a deficit rate of 0.1% in relation to the German GDP.