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Germany has a social market economy with a highly skilled labour force, a large capital stock, a low level of corruption, and a high level of innovation.

Germany has the largest national economy in Europe, the fourth largest by nominal GDP in the world, and the fifth largest by PPP.The service sector contributes approximately 71% of the total GDP (including information technology), industry 28%, and agriculture 1%.The official average national unemployment rate in April 2014 was 6.8%.The unemployment rate published by Eurostat amounts to 4.7% in January 2015. which is the lowest rate of all 28 EU member states. With 7.1% Germany also has the lowest youth unemployment rate of all EU member states.[128] According to the OECD Germany has one of the highest labour productivity levels in the world.

Germany is part of the European single market which represents more than 500 million consumers. Several domestic commercial policies are determined by agreements among European Union (EU) members and by EU legislation. Germany introduced the common European currency, the Euro in 2002. It is a member of the Eurozone which represents around 330 million citizens. Its monetary policy is set by the European Central Bank, which is headquartered in Frankfurt.

Being home to the modern car, the automotive industry in Germany is regarded as the most competitive and innovative in the world,[ and is the fourth largest by production in the world, after Japan, the United States and China

Of the world's 500 largest stock-market-listed companies measured by revenue in 2014, the Fortune Global 500, 28 are headquartered in Germany. 30 Germany-based companies are included in the DAX, the German stock market index. As of 2014 well-known global brands include Mercedes-Benz, BMW, SAP, Volkswagen, Audi, Siemens, Allianz, Adidas, Porsche, and DHL.

Germany is recognised for its large portion of specialised small and medium enterprises, globally known and followed as the Mittelstand model. Around 1,000 of these companies are global market leaders in their segment and are labelled hidden champions.