Growth and Structure of the West German Economy
The area which now forms the Federal Republic had in 1939 a fairly high standard of living, highly developed industries, especially in the metal-working and chemical fields, a skilled industrial labour force, well-run and pleasant cities, and a structurally backward agriculture which had not undergone an enclosure movement. After the war a fifth of the housing stock had been destroyed, the standard of living had sunk to a subsistence level, several million women had been widowed, while at the same time millions of refugees were flowing in from the East. Thus the West German economy had first to recover from the effects of the war, and provide homes and jobs for the increased population. After this had been achieved, real income went on increasing to levels well above those achieved before the war. This led to the type of changes in private and public demand and industrial structure which have characterised all affluent societies.
KeywordsFederal Republic National Income Social Economy Foreign Worker Saving Bank
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