Germany has one of the most advanced economies in the world. GDP is estimated at US$3.6trn in 2013, equal to around US$44,000 per capita, making the German economy the fourth largest, behind the USA, China and Japan. As one of the world's largest exporters, the German economy has been hard hit by the poor global economic climate
Economic growth is expected to remain modest with GDP now forecast to rise by 0.5% in 2013, having grown by an estimated 0.7% in 2012. However, this still makes Germany by far the strongest of the major euro economies, many of which are estimated to have seen negative growth in 2012.
At 11.0% of GDP, healthcare expenditure is at a high level but is increasingly constrained. The domestic market remains tight, with continued downward pressure on prices. Government funding of hospitals in recent years has remained static, therefore hospitals in the public sector are maintaining existing equipment rather than investing in new appliances. This has led to domestic producers becoming increasingly reliant on the export market.
Germany has the third largest medical device market in the world, ranking behind the USA and Japan. In 2013, the German medical device market is estimated at US$25.6bn, equal to US$313 per capita.
Germany has a history of producing high quality medical equipment, with particular emphasis on diagnostic imaging, dental products and optical technologies. The country has a handful of large producers, headed by Siemens, B. Braun and Fresenius. Total production is estimated to be in the region of EUR20bn.
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