In the past 30 years the development of foreign trade in the Federal Republic of Germany1 has been marked by a steep rise in nominal exports and imports of goods and services. Only recently has this progression slowed down. For almost the whole of this period the trade balance showed a surplus, which reached its peak level in 1989. Subsequently the surplus decreased considerably due to German reunification, but it gradually recovered in the following years. The impressive and continuous increase of German foreign trade over time can be seen in Figure 8.1, which shows real exports and imports of goods. In 1960 the relation of foreign trade (export and import of goods) to GDP amounted to about 24 per cent. By 1990 this ratio rose to about 57 per cent reflecting Germany’s growing dependence on foreign trade. Since 1991, the ratio has fallen back to about 50 per cent. This reflects the effects of German unification since intra German trade has replaced trade with foreign countries.
KeywordsForeign Trade Trade Performance Structural Adjustment German Reunification Real Export
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References and Further Reading
- Buigues, P., Ilzkovitz, F. and Lebrun, J.-F. (1991) ‘Industrieller Strukturwandel im europäischen Binnenmarkt: Anpassungsbedarf in den Mitgliedstaaten’, in Kommission der Europäischen Gemeinschaften, Europäische Wirtschaft, Brussels: Soziales Europa.Google Scholar
- Greenaway, D. and Milner, C. (1986) The Economics of Intra-Industry Trade, Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
- Schuhmacher, D. (1983) ‘Intra-Industry Trade between the Federal Republic of Germany and Developing Countries: Extent and Some Characteristics’, in Tharakan, P.K.M. (ed.), Intra-Industry Trade, Amsterdam: North-Holland.Google Scholar