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Consumer Demand Stable at Year End: Preliminary Data from the German National Accounts for the Fourth Quarter of 2004

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  • Andreas Cors

Abstract

At the beginning of this year (as at the beginning of every year), the Federal Statistical Office published its preliminary calculations regarding the most important aggregates in the German national accounts for the year 2004.2 The data presented in this report deviate from the official annual figures for 2004. The reason is that there are now more statistical data available regarding the final months of 2004 than when the Federal Statistical Office carried out its calculations. The differences mightalso be due to the fact that the quarterly data on 2004 published up to then by the Federal Statistical Office have since been revised; it was not possible to take such revisions into account in this report. National output showed signs of cooling off in the summer of 2004. Following growth rates of 0.4% in each of the first two quarters, the increase in output was much less substantial in the third quarter of the year. The export economy, which had previously been the driving force behind growth, was much less lively, and the final quarter of the year also failed to bring a robust recovery in this area. Exports continued to exert a positive impulse, however, even if this was less substantial than at the beginning of the year. Private consumption, by contrast, stimulated overall growth in Germany. Gross Domestic Product (adjusted for seasonal and working-day effects) rose on the previous quarter by 0.3% in real terms, which amounts to an increase of over 2% on the same period a year previously. The trend in the construction industry, which had significantly dampened overall growth for a prolonged period, returned once again to a slim upward trajectory. The result for the remainder of the manufacturing sector was negative, however. Together with the slight expansion of exports, this can be taken as an indication that stocks were reduced during the period under observation. The fall in import prices and the moderate rise in export prices led to an improvement in the terms of trade.

Suggested Citation

  • Andreas Cors, 2005. "Consumer Demand Stable at Year End: Preliminary Data from the German National Accounts for the Fourth Quarter of 2004," Weekly Report, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 1(7), pages 89-100.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwrp:wr1-7
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