2023 OECD Economic Surveys: Germany 2023

image of OECD Economic Surveys: Germany 2023

After a decade of strong export-led growth, decreasing unemployment and fiscal surpluses, the COVID-19 pandemic and the energy crisis have revealed structural vulnerabilities and emphasised the need for accelerating the green and digital transitions. At the same time, rapid population ageing increases public spending pressures and exacerbates skilled labour shortages. Reducing labour taxes, particularly for low-skilled workers and second earners, facilitating skilled migration, and improving education and training are key to raise labour supply. Modernising the public administration to lower the administrative burden and improve public services would help to foster business dynamism and innovation. Addressing large investment needs while safeguarding fiscal sustainability will require reducing tax expenditures, which are often distortive, regressive or environmentally harmful, and strengthening tax enforcement, but also increasing public spending efficiency and better prioritising spending. Reaching climate neutrality in 2045 while safeguarding competitiveness and social cohesion will require cost-effective mitigation policies. Germany should strengthen carbon pricing, but complement this with well-designed sectoral regulations and subsidies, especially for boosting green R&D, expanding sustainable transport and electricity network infrastructure, and decarbonising the housing sector. Using carbon pricing receipts to support vulnerable households and improve the quality of active labour market policies would help to protect social cohesion.


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Germany has already experienced significant employment losses in High Carbon-Intensity sectors

Employment in high carbon (HCI) and low carbon intensity (LCI) sectors, 1992 = 100


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