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Economy in Brief

German Economic Growth Increases in the Third Quarter but ZEW Survey Raises Doubts About the Outlook
by Louise Curley November 15, 2005

Preliminary data released today show that Germany's Real Gross Domestic Product increased 0.6% in the third quarter, compared with revised increases of 0.6% in the first quarter and 0.2% in the second quarter. The unrevised increases for the first and second quarters were 0.8% and 0.0% respectively. For the three quarters of this year, real GDP is only 0.87% above the three corresponding quarters of 2004, suggesting that growth in 2005 is unlikely to exceed 1.0%. Nominal GDP increased 0.38% in the third quarter, less than the real increase, as the deflator declined 0.24%. This was one of the few times, in the past five years, when the deflator declined, as can be seen in the first chart which shows the quarter-to-quarter growth in Real and Nominal GDP.

Information on the composition of GDP will not be available until November 22 when the more detailed release is scheduled to appear. However, the Federal Statistical Office offered some qualitative comments in the current release. A strong increase in exports and a considerable rise in capital formation had positive impacts on the quarter-to-quarter growth. Net exports were almost the only cause of year-to-year growth; domestic activity having made little contribution.

The ZEW Center for Economic Research released the results of its survey of institutional investors and financial analysts regarding the current economic situation and the outlook six months ahead. This was one of those rare times when the respondents were less pessimistic about the current situation than they were last month but less positive about the situation six months ahead as can be seem in the second chart. The decline in optimism about the future is generally attributed to doubts that the agreed upon economic program of the Grand Coalition scheduled to take office on November 22 may do little to encourage growth.

Germany Q3 05  Q2 05 Q3 04 Q/Q  % Y/Y % 2004 %  2003 % 2002 %
GDP (Bil. Euros) 561.05 558.90 557.16 0.38 1.61 1.88 0.84 1.55
GDP (Bil 2000 Chained Euros)  535.02 531.73 527.02 0.62 1.36 1.09 -.019 0.09
Deflator (2000 =100) 104.84 105.09 104.59 -0.24 0.24 0.79 1.03 1.45
ZEW Survey
( Percent Balance)
Nov 05  Oct 05 Nov 04 M/M  Dif Y/Y Dif 2004  2003  2002 
Current Situation -55.2 -58.0 -57.8 2.8 2.6 -67.7 92.6 83.3
Situation 6 Months Ahead 38.7 39.4 13.9  -0.7  24.8    44.6   38.4  45.3
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