German economy shrank in second quarter

For the first time in four years the German economy shrank in the second quarter of 2008: after adjustments for price, season and calendar GDP in Germany was down by 0.5% as compared to the first quarter. For a comparison: in the first quarter 2008 GDP had still increased by 1.3%. The last time that the German economy shrank was in the third quarter of 2004 (-0.2%). In comparison to the second quarter in 2007 German GDP even increased by 3.1% in the second quarter this year. After adjustment for calendar the growth rate was 1.7%.

As was reported by the Federal Statistical Office, the economic development in the second quarter this year was marked by decreasing private consumer spending and less investment in plant and machinery. In particular investment in the construction industry was down as compared to the first quarter. Positive stimuli came from foreign trade which was, however, mainly an effect due to a decline in imports.

The economic output in Germany was generated by 40.2 million gainfully employed people in the second quarter of 2008 which was an increase by 566.000 people or 1.4% as compared to the same quarter last year. GERMAN