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    German Democratic Republic Economy - 1989

      Overview: The GDR has a centrally planned command economy in the Soviet fashion. Agricultural land is 95% collectivized, and financial institutions, transportation, and industrial and foreign trade enterprises are state owned. The GDR is the most industrialized country in Eastern Europe, with over half of its GNP generated by the industrial sector. It also enjoys the highest standard of living among Communist countries, with a per capita GNP of $12,500 in 1988. Trade is characterized by exports of manufactured goods and imports of basic raw materials (lignite is the only important natural resource found in the GDR). About 65% of foreign trade is with the USSR and other CEMA countries. The GDR's most important trade partner in the West is the FRG, which provides the GDR with interest-free credit under a special trade arrangement. During the period 1982-88 overall economic growth slowed to 1.5% from a rate of 2.0% during 1976-80. The GDR must overcome many economic problems that include low hard currency earnings, stagnating living standards, shortages of energy and labor, and an inadequate level of capital investment.

    Five Ostmark note
      GNP: $207.2 billion, per capita $12,500; real growth rate 1.8% (1988)

      Inflation rate (consumer prices): 0.9% (1987)

      Unemployment rate: NA%

      Budget: revenues $123.5 billion; expenditures $123.2 billion, including capital expenditures of $33 billion (1986)

      Exports: $30.8 billion (f.o.b., 1987); @m5commodities--machinery and transport equipment 47%, fuels and metals 16%, consumer goods 16%, chemical products and building materials 13%, semimanufactured goods and processed foodstuffs 8%; @m5partners--USSR, Czechoslovakia, Poland, FRG, Hungary, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Romania

      Imports: $31.0 billion (f.o.b., 1987); @m5commodities--fuels and metals 40%, machinery and transport equipment 29%, chemical products and building materials 9%; @m5partners--CEMA countries 65%, non-Communist 33%, other 2%

      External debt: $20.4 billion (1987)

      Industrial production: growth rate 3.2% (1987)

      Electricity: (including East Berlin) 24,144,000 kW capacity; 120,000 million kWh produced, 7,230 kWh per capita (1988)

      Industries: metal fabrication, chemicals, brown coal, shipbuilding, machine building, food and beverages, textiles, petroleum

      Agriculture: food deficit area; potatoes, rye, wheat, barley, oats

      Aid: NA

      Currency: GDR mark (plural--marks); 1 GDR mark (M) = 100 pfennige

      Exchange rates: GDR marks (M) per US$1--3.00 (1987), 3.30 (1986), 3.70 (1985), 3.64 (1984)

      Fiscal year: calendar year

      NOTE: The information regarding German Democratic Republic on this page is re-published from the 1989 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of German Democratic Republic Economy 1989 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about German Democratic Republic Economy 1989 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 15-Apr-03
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