What is Foolsaurus?

It's a glossary of investing terms edited and maintained by our analysts, writers and YOU, our Foolish community.


Germany's economy is the largest in Europe. Germany is a member of the Group of Eight (G-8) major industrial nations, which gets together to address global financial issues. It is also a member of the European Union.

Expanded Definition

First, some facts about Germany from the CIA's World Factbook as of February 2009:

  • It is Europe's largest economy and second-most populous nation, with 82 million people.
  • Germany has the fifth-largest economy in the world in terms of purchasing power parity.
  • 2008 gross domestic product (purchasing power parity) = $2.9 trillion.
  • It has an export-dependent economy.
  • East and West Germany were unified in 1990. Integrating the East German economy and bringing it up to the standards of the West German economy is a costly and ongoing process, with high unemployment being one symptom -- a seasonally adjusted 2008 rate of 10.8% by one source.
  • Germany has 2,400 kilometers of coastline and is slightly smaller than Montana.
  • Capital = Berlin.
  • Government type = federal republic.
  • The country's economy began to contract in the second quarter of 2008 as the strong euro, high oil prices, tighter credit markets, and slowing growth abroad took their toll. At 1.7% in 2008, GDP growth is expected to be negative in 2009.

Say what you will about the CIA, but its World Factbook is a concise,easy-to-follow source of information.

The International Monetary Fund is a good source for analyses and forecasts on the economies of countries around the globe. The German economy experienced robust growth in mid-2007, then the banking sector was affected by the subprime mess in the American mortgage industry, and then its export-dependent economy took a big hit from declining orders, reports the IMF.

Related Fool Articles