Germany - Economy

Economy

Main article: Economy of Germany

Germany has a social market economy with a highly skilled labour force, a large capital stock, a low level of corruption, and a high level of innovation. It has the largest and most powerful national economy in Europe, the fourth largest by nominal GDP in the world, the fifth largest by PPP, and was the biggest net contributor to the EU budget in 2011. The service sector contributes approximately 71% of the total GDP, industry 28%, and agriculture 1%. The official average national unemployment rate in May 2012 was 6.7%. However, the official average national unemployment rate also includes people with a part-time job that are looking for a full-time job. The unofficial average national unemployment rate in 2011 was 5.7%.

Germany is an advocate of closer European economic and political integration. Its commercial policies are increasingly determined by agreements among European Union (EU) members and by EU legislation. Germany introduced the common European currency, the euro, on 1 January 2002. Its monetary policy is set by the European Central Bank. Two decades after German reunification, standards of living and per capita incomes remain significantly higher in the states of the former West Germany than in the former East. The modernisation and integration of the eastern German economy is a long-term process scheduled to last until the year 2019, with annual transfers from west to east amounting to roughly $80 billion. In January 2009 the German government approved a €50 billion economic stimulus plan to protect several sectors from a downturn and a subsequent rise in unemployment rates.

Of the world's 500 largest stock-market-listed companies measured by revenue in 2010, the Fortune Global 500, 37 are headquartered in Germany. 30 Germany-based companies are included in the DAX, the German stock market index. Well-known global brands are Mercedes-Benz, BMW, SAP, Siemens, Volkswagen, Adidas, Audi, Allianz, Porsche, Bayer, Bosch, and Nivea. Germany is recognised for its specialised small and medium enterprises. Around 1,000 of these companies are global market leaders in their segment and are labelled hidden champions.

The list includes the largest companies by turnover in 2009. Unranked are the largest bank and the largest insurance company in 2007:

Rank Name Headquarters Revenue
(Mil. €)
Profit
(Mil. €)
Employees
(World)
1 Volkswagen AG Wolfsburg 108,897 4,120 329,305
2 Daimler AG Stuttgart 99,399 3,985 272,382
3 Siemens AG Munich/Berlin 72,488 3,806 398,200
4 E.ON AG Düsseldorf 68,731 7,204 87,815
5 Metro AG Düsseldorf 64,337 825 242,378
6 Deutsche Post AG Bonn 63,512 1,389 475,100
7 Deutsche Telekom AG Bonn 62,516 569 241,426
8 BASF SE Ludwigshafen 57,951 4,065 95,175
9 BMW AG Munich 56,018 3,126 107,539
10 ThyssenKrupp AG Essen/Duisburg 51,723 2,102 191,350

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Famous quotes containing the word economy:

    Even the poor student studies and is taught only political economy, while that economy of living which is synonymous with philosophy is not even sincerely professed in our colleges. The consequence is, that while he is reading Adam Smith, Ricardo, and Say, he runs his father in debt irretrievably.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)

    I favor the policy of economy, not because I wish to save money, but because I wish to save people. The men and women of this country who toil are the ones who bear the cost of the Government. Every dollar that we carelessly waste means that their life will be so much the more meager. Every dollar that we prudently save means that their life will be so much the more abundant. Economy is idealism in its most practical terms.
    Calvin Coolidge (1872–1933)

    The aim of the laborer should be, not to get his living, to get “a good job,” but to perform well a certain work; and, even in a pecuniary sense, it would be economy for a town to pay its laborers so well that they would not feel that they were working for low ends, as for a livelihood merely, but for scientific, or even moral ends. Do not hire a man who does your work for money, but him who does it for love of it.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)