According to the Federal Statistical Office, seven product groups – motor vehicles, mechanical and chemical products, iron and steel products, foodstuffs, electronic goods and telecommunication devices- accounted for about half of the German foreign trade volume in 2005. The first three above-mentioned product groups alone (motor vehicles, mechanical engineering and chemical products) account for one third of the trade volume.
Most important services in foreign trade were business-related services, transport services and data processing. These services combined, however, account for less than 10% of the German foreign trade.
There are interesting facts with regard to jobs depending on exports. An ever increasing number of Germans work for foreign clients. One out of four employees are nowadays dependent on exports. Ten years ago this number was one out of seven. Among the 1.3 million employees working in car manufacturing in 2005, about 508.000 worked directly in the production of motor vehicles. 274.000 produced intermediate inputs such as seat covers, varnishes or energy. Remarkably high, i.e. 590.000, is the number of people which provide the services in connection with the export of motor vehicles.
High crude oil and petrol prices have also become an integral part of the export agenda. Compared to 2004, prices for crude oil and natural gas increased by 40% in 2005 while prices for mineral oil products increased by 36%. Had there not been these price increases, prices for private and public consumer goods had been lower by 0.8% and 0.3% respectively in 2005, while prices for investment in the construction industry had been 0.5% less expensive.