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the German public deficit reached 0% in 2008 and 3.1% in 2009, that of France 3.4% and 8.2% respectively; while Germany's trade surplus grew to 135 billion euros in 2009, France's trade deficit grew to 43 billion; German export market share in the heart of the euro zone went from 25% in 2000 to 28% in 2009, France's from 16% to 13%; Germany has managed to maintain a strong industry, the spearhead of its exports and representing 26% of its GDP, an increase since 2000, in contrast to 14% in France, where that number is declining; Germany spends 2.6% of its GDP on research and development, France 2%.

Both of them have been keeping aggregate debt to gdp ratios above 60%, for most of the decade, but the quote doesn't discuss that bit of their fiscal position. Germany should have been running budget surpluses in the boom years in order to bring the deficit down but instead they - together with France - forced a redefinition of the Growth and Stability Pact when it suited their excesses, and kept running deficits throughout.

The brainless should not be in banking -- Willem Buiter

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 13th, 2010 at 08:46:04 AM EST

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