GDP higher than expected

Today the Federal Statistical Office published a cheerful message: Adjusted for price and season the German gross domestic product increased by another 0.9% in the fourth quarter of 2006 as compared to the previous quarter. GDP measures the value of goods and services generated by a national economy. Another surprise came in the form of revised growth rates for the first three quarters of 2006. Growth rates of 0.8%, 1.2% and 0,8% were higher than assumed so far.

As compared to the fourth quarter of 2005, GDP rose by 3.5% in the fourth quarter of 2006. Allowing for one additional working day in the fourth quarter of 2005 it even rose by 3.7%. Due to this unexpectedly strong growth at the end of 2006, the preliminary annual growth rate for 2006 was raised to 2.7%.

Once again growth impulses in the fourth quarter of 2006 came from abroad and from within Germany. Most important to the economic upturn, however, was the extremely dynamic foreign trade. Increased foreign investment and foreign consumption also affected the growth of GDP.

In the fourth quarter of 2006 the German national economic output was generated by 39.7 million gainfully employed persons which are 452.000 people or 1.2% more than in the year before. GERMAN