Europe's Biggest Economy Continues to Shrink, But Its Stage Is Set For a Greener, Brighter Future

Most of the time, other Western nations envy Germany's strong export economy, but the global recession has been particularly hard on exporters. In the first quarter of 2009, Germany's GDP suffered its biggest contraction since World War II, a whopping 3.8%, according to the Financial Times. That makes Germany as eager as any nation for a global recovery to take hold. Despite the recession's headwinds, Europe's largest economy also has areas of strength, according to a recent Knowledge at Wharton special report, "Germany Seeks to Position Itself for a Greener, Brighter Future." The report concludes that German cities are competing to attract international business; innovation is thriving; clean energy initiatives are moving forward; and educational reform is helping make schools more responsive to future economic needs.