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(December 2013) At 7% of GDP or €187bn Germany had one of the largest current account (trade and financial balances) surpluses in the world in 2012. In 2013 a similar surplus is expected. Among the industrialised countries only Switzerland (11%), oil-exporting Norway (14%) and the Netherlands (10%) have larger surpluses. A break-down of the 2012 surplus shows that EMU (European Monetary Union) accounted for 31%, the US for 19%, non-China Asia for 15% and non-EMU Europe and other Americas for 12% each. The current Euro Area share is almost the same as in 2002 - - although it peaked at 62% in 2008. While Germany’s deficit vis-à-vis China shrank substantially, surpluses with the rest of Asia rose strongly. The bilateral surplus with the US has fallen from 63% of the total (2002) to 19%. Germany last had a deficit in 2000. France had a surplus of 3.1% of GDP in 1999 (first year of the euro) and since 2005 it has had a deficit every year. It was -2.2% in 2012.
(December 2013) The impact of culture as a potential economic engine for cities is not a new discovery but it has received a lot of attention in recent times with the growth of so-called knowledge jobs. In Germany in 2011, economists examined the contemporary economic impact of the lavish baroque opera houses that princes had constructed prior to the industrial revolution.
(November 2013) The electrical industry plays a key role in the development of economies all around the world both directly and indirectly as a supplier to other sectors. In Germany, for instance, the electrical industry is directly responsible for one-eighth of industrial output. Furthermore, 45,000 new jobs have been created in the sector since 2010, which means the electrical industry currently employs more than 840,000 people.
(September 2013) The German federal elections produced a surprising result. For the first time since 1994, the CDU/ CSU in a landslide victory secured more than 40% of the vote, 41.5% to be precise. The conservatives are now almost back to their long-term average of 43%. They fell short of the absolute majority in the Bundestag by just 4 seats. This is a huge personal victory for Chancellor Merkel, as well as confirmation of her cautious centrist policy course in domestic affairs and the balanced approach to euro crisis management. Of course, the CDU/ CSU will be in a predominant position in any upcoming coalition.
(August 2013) Alfred Ritter heads Germany's second biggest chocolate company, especially known for its Ritter Sport brand. Ritter's company is one of the successful mainly family-run Mittelstand firms.
(August 2013) Germany achieved a budget surplus in the first half of 2013 as growth recovered in the second quarter following the stagnation of the winter months.
(August 2013) In 2011, following the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster in Japan in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake and tsunami, the German government gave in to public pressure to phase out the nuclear industry and it adopted a goal to also abandon fossil fuels. Two years later, some German's are losing enthusiasm for the shift from nuclear and fossil fuel to mainly wind and sun. While, the policy is still supported by most Germans, the moods of many are slowly changing.
(August 2013) Germany's merchandise trade surplus with the other 16 countries of the Eurozone was only €1.5bn in H1 2013 compared with €75bn with countries outside the EU.
(August 2013) Housing prices in Germany’s biggest cities are rising at the fastest pace since reunification in 1990 as investors seeking to capitalise on growth in Europe’s biggest economy turn to property, according to data compiled by Berlin-based research firm Bulwien Gesa AG. However, there is no bubble.
(June 2013) Germans have been told that cheap labour is no basis on which a rich country should compete. Yet, it has been claimed that has been the basis of the lion's share of Germany's export success in the last dozen years - - and exports have been the sole consistent source of economic growth for Germany over the same period. For too long, the idea that trade surpluses somehow prove a nation's economic worth has persisted in Germany. The resulting false sense of security has combined with the problems of Germany's southern neighbours in the euro area to make it seem that everything in the current coalition's economic policies, and with the German economy, is as good as it needs to be. But it is not.