The DACH countries have a strong and stable economy, which results in the aforementioned high living standards. Gross domestic product per capita has been similarly high in Austria and Germany over the last years, whereas in Switzerland, it has been almost as high as both of them combined. Amid a slow European economic development in recent years, due to the economic crisis in 2009, these countries’ economies powered through and continued their economic growth. An aggregated inflation rate below the 4-percent mark ensures the DACH countries financial stability, which in turn makes these states attractive to foreign investments, and consequently helps to maintain international competitiveness. However, the 2008-2009 economic crisis did not leave them unscathed; Germany’s and Austria’s economies took a severe hit, whereas Switzerland has been reporting a slight deflation in several years.
Germany exports a large portion its goods and services, thus reporting a sizeable trade surplusof about 282 billion U.S. dollars in 2017. Austria, on the other hand, is on the red, wince it imports more than it exports, and subsequently reported a trade deficit of almost 8 billion U.S. dollars the same year.
In such highly industrialized economies as these, supported by high tech industrial production, the manufacturing sector accounts for the largest part of exported and imported commodities in the DACH countries. Germany imported manufactured commodities worth 811 billion U.S. dollars in 2016, whereas Austria’s and Switzerland’s manufactured commodity imports were comparably high. As an economic area, the DACH countries are definitely major players in Europe and may be dictating the direction to go in the years to come.