For example, since 1949 early elections have been called just three times in
The country has been ruled by only eight chancellors who have
served for an average of more than eight years. There has been neither turmoil
due to property bubbles nor private or public debt crises. In fact, the opposite is
true: the state, companies and households have further reduced their already
low levels of debt in recent years. The German government has always been
one of the world’s best borrowers; the deutschmark a byword for stability.
So much so that the post-war economic miracle and the deutschmark became
part of the mythology of the West German success story, with the latter a
symbol for East Germans’ desire for reunification. The average annual rate of
inflation in Germany since 1960 is, at 2.7%, the lowest among the major
developed countries. In the US it is 3.9%, in Japan 3.2% and the less said about
the UK (5.3%) and Italy (6.2%) the better. Switzerland is the only OECD nation
to have recorded lower inflation over this period (2.6%), although only just.
Had it not been for the temporary surge in inflation due to reunification, the German
rate would be lower.