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The year 1983

The global recession came to an end in 1983 and was succeeded by a phase of steady global growth. With the US economy having recovered slightly in the fourth quarter of 1982 and consolidating this growth in the following months, “expansive forces” came to dominate in the Western industrialised countries as well, such as Japan, Great Britain and the Federal Republic, as confirmed by the five leading economic research institutes in their reports. In the OECD states, the rise in gross domestic product (+2 percent in real terms) stimulated foreign trade and low rates of inflation boosted the general economic situation.

In the Federal Republic, we saw the beginning of a boom period which was to last for around seven years. Rising domestic demand (primarily rapidly expanding private consumption), the flourishing export economy, especially in the second half of the year, which once again recorded better figures fuelled by a rise in foreign demand, saw an increase in gross domestic product of 1.3 percent in real terms at the end of the year. An interesting aspect here is the regional differences within Germany: Bavaria (+2.4 percent), Baden-Württemberg, Rheinland-Palatinate and Hesse achieved above average rates of growth in gross domestic product, while the federal states in the north of the country recorded varying rates. German industry also matched the globally high rates of increase in industrial production, increasing its overall sales by 1.5 percent in real terms and returning good results, particularly in the raw materials and capital goods sectors. The chemicals industry profited greatly from the sound economic conditions enjoyed by its customers in the automotive, construction and textiles industries and in plastics processing. Chemicals recorded a 7 percent increase in overall sales in real terms in the Federal Republic. However, the balance for the year in the German mechanical engineering industry was tarnished by falling sales figures, with this sector being affected by a fall in demand from companies in the large-scale plant and power station construction sectors, and for foundry and mining machinery.

Annual report 1983