German economy maintains growth momentum in 2017

2018-01-12 01:57:45 GMT2018-01-12 09:57:45(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

BERLIN, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- The German economy continues to produce record figures in 2017 as the gross domestic product (GDP) reaches a six-year high. Price-adjusted GDP increased by 2.2 percent, the Federal Statistical Office located in Wiesbaden announced Thursday.

Including calendar adjustments, the GDP growth rate was even higher at 2.5 percent, due to three less working days in 2017 compared to 2016.The German economy has now grown for the eighth successive year.

In 2016 the GDP had already risen significantly by 1.9 percent, and by 1.7 percent in 2015. German economic growth in 2017 exceeded the average growth rate of 1.3 percent over the last ten years by almost one percentage point.

The federal government also benefited from the upturn as increased taxes and social contributions ensured a record surplus in the state treasury. The Statistical Office reports a provisional surplus calculation of 38.4 billion euros in 2017, which represents a four-year consecutive surplus at the end of the year.

The economic growth in 2017 was driven, above all, by positive impulses from within Germany. Private consumer expenditure rose by a price-adjusted 2.0 percent.

Consumers are in a spending mood, the situation on the labor market is historically favorable and saving money is hardly profitable due to the zero interest rate policy of the European Central Bank (ECB). The number of persons in employment in Germany is at a new record high of 44.3 million. The Statistical Office reports a preliminary calculation of an increase in the rate of employment by about 1.5 percent in 2017 compared to 2016.

According to the consumer researchers of the Nuremberg based GfK institute for consumer research, only few people in Germany are presently worried about their job. Confidence in the booming economy continues to be high.

German exports continued to increase in 2017 on an annual average. Price-adjusted exports of goods and services were up 4.7 percent on the previous year. In the first eleven months of 2017, machines, cars and other goods worth 1.18 trillion euros were exported. This represents an increase of 6.5 percent over the previous year. The value of imports increased by 5.2 percent.

On the production side of the gross domestic product, almost all economic sectors contributed to the positive economic trend in 2017. Total price-adjusted gross value added rose 2.2 percent in 2017 on the previous year.

Economists continue their trust in the German economy over the current year, with a predicted growth of more than two percent in 2018. (1 euro = 1.19 U.S. dollars)