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The year 1988

The stable growth in the global economy - which rose by 4 percent in real terms - continued into 1988. Development in the OECD states was characterised by healthy economic growth in Japan, North America, Spain and Great Britain, a clear-cut increase in industrial production which rose by around 7 percent, and a lively level of foreign trade which rose by 5 percent in real terms in the industrialised countries of the West.

With the German economy expanding, especially in the first and third quarters, the economic boom underway since the early 1980s pressed ahead at a considerable rate once again. The German Federal Bank attributed the real growth in gross national product of 3.4 percent back to “domestic demand” – besides the flourishing foreign trade – as the “main engine driving on economic growth”. Both the increase in private consumption and the numerous corporate investments resulted in overall domestic demand rising by 3.5 percent in real terms, a notable result by international comparison. The production sector overcame the months of stagnation, increasing sales by 5.8 percent and net production by 4 percent.

Germany's chemical companies also participated in the global growth of the chemicals industry, generating capital from the sound profit situation in the textiles industry, in vehicle manufacture and in pharmaceuticals. Overall sales for the sector increased by 6.5 percent, due to expansion mainly in the plastics, cosmetics and industrial chemicals segments of the business. Mechanical engineering made a considerable contribution towards the rising production figures, also increasing the production of construction machinery in comparison with previous years, and generating an increase in sales of 8.3 percent.

Annual report 1988 (German)