Germany: Current account balance as percent of GDP, 1980 - 2021:
For that indicator, we provide data for Germany from 1980 to 2021. The average value for Germany during that period was 3.23 percent with a minimum of -1.8 percent in 2000 and a maximum of 8.6 percent in 2015.
The latest value from 2021 is 7.4 percent. For comparison, the world average in 2021 based on 83
countries is -1.23 percent.
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The current account of Germany and other countries has three components: 1) the exports of goods and services minus the imports of goods and services; 2) the difference of incomes that countries pay to each other; and 3) the difference in transfers that countries make to each other. Current account deficits are reported with a minus sign and surpluses are reported with a plus sign.
A current account deficit means that the country needs to find financing for its imports. The foreign currencies it receives from selling products abroad are not enough to pay for the products it wants to buy from other countries. The needed amounts of foreign currencies can be obtained by, for example, borrowing. For instance, in the last several years the U.S. has been borrowing money from China in order to buy Chinese products.
This is not necessarily a problem. The current account deficit starts to be a problem if it exceeds 3-4 percent of GDP for many years. Over that time, the country accumulates a significant amount of foreign debt that eventually has to be repaid.
Definition: Current account balance is the sum of net exports of goods and services, net primary income, and net secondary income.