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The year 2002

In 2002, the development of the global economy was determined by numerous ambivalent factors and by peaks and troughs. The crises in the last quarter of 2001 initially gave way to a perceptible upswing in the first half of 2002; however, the second half of the year saw this upswing significantly losing momentum. Although global added value rose by 3 percent, it once again failed to match the average figures recorded in the 1980s and 90s. The actual “motors” driving global wealth forward were yet again the economies of the former Eastern Bloc, the threshold countries of the Far East and South East Asia and the USA. Conversely, Western Europe, Japan, Latin America and Africa contributed little towards global growth. The reasons for this cautious global economic growth were numerous. After the attacks of 11 September, institutions and the major economic players remained nervous about the clear-cut danger of terrorist attacks and the regional military conflicts, as in the Middle East countries of Iraq, Palestine and Afghanistan. The disquiet in the financial markets and the slump in various equity prices also upset the global economic climate, as did the extensive public debate about falsified balance sheets and inaccurate auditing among large-scale corporations.

Weak domestic demand and a rather low level - viewed over the course of time - of growth in exports of 2.6 percent held back the economic recovery in Germany which achieved economic growth of only 0.2 percent. Gross capital investments shrank by a further 6.8 percent and investments in plant and equipment by as much as 9.4 percent. In production, there were numerous sectors (in particular the textiles, construction and printing industries and electrical engineering) which were affected by falling sales figures. The chemicals industry also had to deal with falling sales (-0.2 percent in comparison with the previous year), however, it did manage to increase its exports slightly by 0.5 percent. In mechanical engineering, sound foreign sales ensured that the sector recorded a slight increase in sales, up 0.3 percent. Finally, 2002 brought with it an important milestone for everyone in Germany, with 1 January seeing the introduction of the euro.

Annual report 2002

Consolidated Financial Statements 2002