— This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on September 25, Monday.
The election's exit poll points to Merkel winning and entering her fourth term. Many felt that Merkel's economic governance and leadership were key factors in ensuring continued public support. Today, we take a look at the Germany's economic development since Merkel took office.
First of all, this chart shows Germany's economic trends from 2005, the year when Germany Chancellor Merkel was firstly elected, all the way to just before this year's elections. In 2005, the German unemployment rate exceeded 10%, and as we can see that the current unemployment rate has fallen to a record low of 5.7%, down by half from 12 years ago. Also, the European economy suffered a global financial crisis and the subsequent debt crisis in Europe right after Merkel's first term. But under Merkel's governance, the German economy tided through these two crises. Since then, the German economy has rebounded steadily. Although Germany's growth saw signs of slowing down after the debt crisis, it still remained ahead of the rest of the European countries.
At the same time, in 2016, Germany had a fiscal surplus as high as 23.7 billion euros, the highest since 1990. Analysts think that the Germany's strong economic growth is highly linked to its strong export industry. Since Merkel took office, Germany's export growth exceeded $ 350 billion. Let's take a look at the scale of German's exports globally. Just last year, the scale of German exports to North America stood at $ 129 billion, and to South America, it was at $ 36 billion. As for exports to remaining European countries, it was at $ 878 billion,
to Asia, it stood at $ 252 billion and lastly to Oceania, it was at $ 12 billion. This strong demand for German exports last year helped Germany to achieve a trade surplus of $280 billion, second to China. Also, German exports account for 46% of its GDP, much higher than the United States, which is only 13% of its GDP.
In terms of commercial trade per capita, Germany ranks the first in the world. Its per capita trade volume reached $ 3,419, far more than $ 340 per capita in China and $ 298 per capita in Japan. It is definitely far higher than the negative trade value of the US and the UK, due to their trade deficit.
As the German manufacturing moves towards "Industry 4.0", Germany will also enter in "Merkel 4.0". In this new term, Germany may face two major challenges; the first is the trade barriers that we have just mentioned. Due to the size of German exports, the economy is susceptible to trade protectionism, such as the Brexit, US tariffs and China's transition from low-tech to high-tech manufacturing. Another challenge is in the politics. The right-wing party "Alternative Party" won more votes than what was expected, which is why we saw the euro rapidly declining this mroning.
Therefore when it comes to refugee and trade policies, Merkel may be subjected to greater domestic political pressure. Germany will also play a major role in the Brexit negotiations and continue to speak out for anti-terrorism, climate change and geopolitical tensions. These international challenges, coupled with domestic ones, such as education, public investment and many others will form the "Merkel 4.0" era where she needs to focus on solving these problems. We will continue to keep watch.
CNBC's Chen Qian reporting from Singapore.