2008 OECD Economic Surveys: Germany 2008

image of OECD Economic Surveys: Germany 2008

This 2008 edition of OECD's periodic survey of the German economy finds Germany enjoying a vigorous recovery after a long period of stagnation. To keep the recovery going, OECD finds Germany facing a number of key challenges including making the tax system more efficient, making labour market improvements last longer, improving education outcomes, strengthening competition in network industries, and making healthcare sustainable. These challenges are all addressed in some detail in this report.

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Assessment and recommendations

Germany has been experiencing a strong economic recovery after a prolonged period of stagnation in the early years of the current decade. With corporate balance sheets and profitability robust and the government structural budget near balance, solid foundations have been laid for the continuation of the upswing. Nevertheless, for high economic growth to be more enduring, as intended by the authorities, it will be necessary to raise the growth rate of potential output. Past reforms, notably in the labour market have helped to lift growth in potential output recently, but there is still considerable scope to increase hours worked per capita, despite the progress made during the current upswing, and to improve productivity, notably in certain network industries. In the long run, improving education outcomes, including by reducing the impact of socio-economic background on outcomes, will be central to sustaining high economic growth and social cohesion.

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