Berlin It rarely happens that a single company makes a significant contribution to economic output. Now the corona pandemic has made sure of that. According to various economists, the vaccine producer Biontech accounted for almost a fifth of German economic growth in 2021. The Federal Statistical Office published an initial estimate for gross domestic product (GDP) for 2021 on Friday, according to which the increase totaled 2.7 percent. It is estimated that Biontech alone accounts for 0.5 percentage points. The Federal Statistical Office confirmed that Biontech was fundamentally included in the statistics. The authority cannot provide detailed information on individual companies. Michael Kuhn, head of the “Domestic product, input-output calculation” group at the Federal Statistical Office, said: “The influence is noticeable.” Just at the beginning of 2021, the company mainly manufactured its vaccine in a Belgian plant. But Sebastian Dullien, Director of the Institute for Macroeconomics and Business Cycle Research (IMK), told the Handelsblatt: “Biontech has an agreement with Pfizer for market launch and marketing, with the proceeds being shared later.” Biontech’s claim against Pfizer was already at the end of September according to the quarterly report at around ten billion euros. Top jobs of the day Find the best jobs now and
be notified by email. The payments from Pfizer are included in the German current account as exports. According to Biontech, the expected expenses for preliminary products are also relatively low. All in all, the 0.5 percentage point higher GDP growth comes about.Nils Jannsen, Head of Economic Development in Germany at the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW) says: “It is extremely unusual for a single company to increase its GDP so strongly, given the circumstances due to the fact that there was no corresponding license income in the comparative year 2020.” Dullien calls this an “excellent sign for the German research landscape”. Container port in Mannheim The spread of the corona variant Omikron remains a risk for the economy. (Photo: imago images/Arnulf Hettrich) According to Biontech, it generated sales of between 16 and 17 billion euros last year with its corona vaccine – the company’s first product to be available on the market since it was founded in 2008. That’s a huge leap: in 2020, sales were less than half a billion.
Economy contracted in fourth quarter
With overall growth of 2.7 percent, GDP in 2021 was lower than long hoped for, according to the figures reported by the Federal Statistical Office on Friday. Above all, the weakening economy towards the end of the year contributed to this. According to an initial estimate, the German economy shrank in the fourth quarter. According to the Federal Statistical Office, the minus should be 0.5 to one percent. The coronavirus, which is still rampant, including renewed restrictions in retail, for example, and global delivery bottlenecks are slowing down Europe’s largest economy. Economic research institutes have repeatedly lowered their forecasts for this year in the past few weeks. Economists now assume that the economy will not really pick up again until spring 2022. According to the latest forecasts, the German economy should still grow between 3.5 percent and a good four percent in the current year, despite the somewhat gloomier outlook. That would then be on a scale similar to that of the years after the deep recession in 2009 as a result of the global financial and economic crisis. With growth of 2.7 percent in 2021, Germany has still not reached the pre-crisis level. GDP is still around two percent below that of 2019. “Despite the ongoing corona pandemic and the associated delivery bottlenecks, the German economy recovered in 2021,” said Georg Thiel, President of the Federal Statistical Office.
Burdens of the crisis continue to dampen Germany
Hopes for a big upswing were fueled in particular by the savings cushion in private households. During the 2020 pandemic, they put money aside like never before. The hope was that in 2021 they would deplete their savings and spend all the more money. German economy will grow by 2.7 percent in 2021 – what economists say about this However, private consumption stagnated compared to the previous year. “The savings rate thus remained at a much higher level than before the crisis,” said Stefan Hauf, head of the national income, sector accounts, employment group at the Federal Statistical Office percent came. This is mainly due to the procurement of corona tests and vaccines as well as the construction and operation of test and vaccination centers. As a result, the state debt deficit of 4.3 percent remained at the level of the previous year. Germany is therefore not threatened by trouble from Brussels. Because of the corona crisis, the EU countries had suspended the rules of the Stability and Growth Pact for the first time, according to which the budget deficit must not exceed three percent and total debt must not exceed 60 percent of gross domestic product. The pact should take effect again in 2023. In order to cushion the economic consequences of the pandemic, the EU countries had to take on enormous debt. Corona test The state’s consumer spending is mainly due to the procurement of corona tests and vaccines as well as the construction and operation of test and vaccination centers. (Photo: dpa) The government quota, which reflects the ratio of government spending to gross domestic product, has reached historic highs. It is now about 52 percent for the state as a whole. The federal government accounts for more than 17 percent of this. A look at the individual sectors shows that, despite the delivery problems and ongoing pandemic restrictions, industry and corporate service providers were able to recover somewhat and each increased their added value by around five percent. At 0.6 percent, the other service providers, which include the creative industries, were hardly able to make up for their losses from the previous year.More: This is how the German economy will develop.
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