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The year 2000

At the start of the new millennium, and, particularly, in the first half of the year, the global economy appeared to have recovered from the crises of the 1990s and grew overall by 4.8 percent. Global trade expanded by an extraordinary high 13.4 percent, the global currency system appeared stable and raw material prices remained low, with the exception of energy prices. However growth in the main industrial countries did vary. The USA, Canada, Ireland, Finland, the South Korea and the Republic of China (Taiwan) made a particular contribution towards global growth. At the same time, the countries of Eastern and Central Eastern Europe and the threshold countries of the Far East and South East Asia were among the regions displaying the most notable growth rates.

The booming global economy also stimulated the economy of Western Germany. With an increase - slightly below average in the international comparison - of 3 percent in gross domestic product (priced in 1995 terms), the German economy grew at a rate in excess of anything seen since reunification. The sound economic situation in industry was due primarily to the notable level of foreign orders, which displayed a clear rate of increase, up 17.5 percent, with, conversely, the rise in oil prices and the devaluation of the euro resulting in low domestic demand. Both nationally and internationally, the chemicals industry was one of the main growth sectors. With domestic demand recovering in Germany and exports increasing by as much as 18.3 percent, both production and sales picked up sharply, with overall sales rising by 11.2 percent over the previous year. After the crisis of 1999, mechanical engineering also displayed a clear-cut recovery and increased its export figures by 11 percent and its sales by 7.1 percent, also thanks to the brisk demand from German industry.


Annual report 2000 (German)

Financial Statements 2000

Group Financial Statements 2000 (German)