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DES GB2012 E

7 GERMAN JOB MIRACLE The most important aspect of positive consumer climate is the the labour mar- ket. According to the Federal Employ- ment Agency, an average 2.9 million peo- ple were registered as unemployed in Germany in 2012. This is the lowest level since 1991. A comparison with the job market situation in other European coun- tries shows just how impressive the Ger- man job miracle is. Germany is the only country in which the number of people out of work has dropped since the pre- crisis level of 2007. While unemployment has fallen by a third in Germany, average unemployment figures across Europe have risen by almost 50%. In Spain and Ireland, the number of people without a job has increased by more than 200%, while Greece is battling an increase of nearly 170%. CONSUMPTION 2013 – ECONOMIC BOOST FOR GERMANY The outlook for the global economy remains cautious. While it registered a decline of 0.3% for 2012, the Federal Statistical Office is expecting growth for the EU‘s gross domestic product (GDP) of 0.4% in 2013. This could indicate that the danger of a prolonged recession has been averted and that German exports within Europe are unlikely to decline any further. Following the 0.7% growth achie- ved in 2012, Germany’s GDP is expected to rise 0.8% this year. In light of the subdued global economy, domestic demand will become ever more important. For the most part, real (i.e. adjusted for price) spending of private households registered major increases in the years leading up to the turn of the millennium. The decade since, however, was marked by stagnation. Between 2000 and 2010, consumer spending increased by an average of only 0.3% in real terms. In 2011, an increase of 1.5% in real pri- vate consumption seems to have put a stop to this negative development. Preli- minary data from the Federal Statistical Office for 2012 suggests that consumption grew by 0.8%, largely confirming the GfK’s growth forecast of 1.0%. A continuation of this trend looks likely in the current economic climate. The German job market is expected to remain stable, which will positively affect consumer sentiment, and the prospects for salary developments are favourable with a continued moderate rate of inflation. On this basis, the GfK is predicting real growth in private consumption of 1.0% for 2013. This means that, once again, German consumers are a key factor in the domestic economy. Real private consumption in Germany 1971--2012 Source: GFK I Federal Statistical Office I Experts‘ Council I * preliminary result Private consumption back on the rise after a decade of stagnation CHANGE IN % COMPARED TO PREVIOUS YEAR SHOPPING { 24 } DES ANNUAL REPORT 2012 Consumption 2013