Table of Contents

  • This Survey is published on the responsibility of the Economic and Development Review Committee of the OECD, which is charged with the examination of the economic situation of member countries.The economic situation and policies of Germany were reviewed by the Committee on 29 February 2016. The draft report was then revised in the light of the discussions and given final approval as the agreed report of the whole Committee on 15 March 2016.The Secretariat’s draft report was prepared for the Committee by Andrés Fuentes Hutfilter, Andreas Kappeler, Naomitsu Yashiro and by Dorothee Schneider, who was seconded from the German Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy, under the supervision of Andreas Wörgötter. Eun Jung Kim and Giovanni Maria Semeraro provided research assistance. Heloise Wickramanayake formatted and produced the layout. The previous Survey of Germany was issued in May 2014.

  • The economy has steadily recovered from the 2008 global crisis and, thanks to past reforms, the labour market has proved strong. Labour productivity growth hasweakened and productivity is low in services. Germany has high material living standards, low income inequality and scores well in most dimensions of well-being. Despite substantial progress, there still are gaps in childcare and full-day schooling. Disincentives to work full-time in the tax system also contribute to low earnings of women as many work part-time. In recent years many low-income households have not benefited from economic growth and investment.

  • Economic growth has rebounded quickly since the global financial crisis of 2009. A competitive manufacturing sector and euro depreciation have driven strong export performance. Reflecting past labour market reforms, the unemployment rate has continued to fall and is now the lowest in the European Union (, Panels A, B and C). Private household demand has risen on the back of a robust labour market and the recent introduction of a minimum wage, which significantly increased the benefits of working at the lower end of the labour market. Decisive action by the European Central Bank (ECB) provided monetary support and helped to stabilise the euro area. Germany’s status as a safe haven for financial investors has also supported activity while euro area membership prevented appreciation vis-à-vis most key European trading partners. An effective fiscal rule resulting in a solid fiscal position and overall competition-friendly product market regulation are key factors which sustain a high level of productivity and confidence.

  • This annex summaries key recommendations made in previous Surveys and main actions taken since the OECD Economic Survey on Germany published in May 2014.