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Statistical Report on the Development of the Standard of Living in the German Democratic Republic and in the Federal Republic of Germany (1956)

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6) The development of income and expenses of worker households
The development that is evident in the cost of living index is confirmed by the study of income and expenses of worker households in the GDR and West Germany. Expenses for food and semi-luxury goods as a percentage of overall income are 48.4% in West Germany and 51.5% in the GDR. The share for rent and for education, entertainment, and recreation is significantly higher in West Germany. Since food and semi-luxury goods account for a higher share of overall expenses in the GDR, there is no disposable income to be used for education, entertainment or recreation.

7) The development of cost volume?
The monthly expenses to purchase goods and services for a worker family of four, positing the consumption of a family in the GDR as the basis, are 23% higher in the GDR than in West Germany. However, expenses in the GDR have exhibited a strongly declining trend since 1950, whereas a rising trend exists in West Germany.

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10. The development of retail sales and sales per capita.
Compared to 1936, retail sales in the GDR in 1954 were 108% and in West Germany 122% at 1936 prices. In the most important categories of goods, as well, sales were higher in West Germany.
The per capita sales of all goods at 1936 prices was 584.- DM in the GDR in 1954, and 600.- DM in West Germany.
For food and semi-luxury goods, per capita sales in the GDR in 1954 were higher than in West Germany. They were 323.- DM in the GDR, and 308.- DM in West Germany. In terms of prices for the respective years, sales in the GDR were higher than those in West Germany because of the higher price level.

11. The development of the import (and “import per capita”) of tropical fruit, coffee, tea, and cocoa.
The per capita import is about 6 times higher in West Germany than in the GDR for tropical fruit, 3-4 times higher for coffee, more than 4 times higher for cocoa, while the per capita import of tea in the GDR is higher than in West Germany in 1955.

12. The development in the manufacturing, import, and export of motorcycles, mopeds, scooters and the like, and of bicycles.
While the production of motorcycles in the GDR was extremely low in the years of the first Five-Year Plan (in 1952, West German production was nine times the production of motorcycles in the GDR), in 1955 motorcycle production in the GDR reached the same level as West Germany relative to population size. If one takes into account the production, import, and export of motorcycles in the GDR and in West Germany, the number of motorcycles made available in the GDR in 1955 was higher than in West Germany relative to the size of the population.
On the other hand, the number of available scooters, mopeds, bicycles with auxiliary motors, and similar motorized bicycles is several times larger in West Germany than in the GDR. As with motorcycles, the relative share of the production of bicycles – in terms of population size – is higher in the GDR than in West Germany. Around 600,000 bicycles came onto the market in the GDR in 1955, taking into account production, export, and import; in West Germany it was also approximately 600,000. That means that the supply of the population with motorcycles and bicycles, relative to the size of the population, has reached or exceeded the level in West Germany. However, the supply of scooters, mopeds, and light motorcycles in the GDR is much lower than in West Germany.

13. The development of the stock of registered motorcycles
There are about seven times more registered motorcycles in West Germany than in the GDR. Relative to population size, the stock of motorcycles in West Germany is about three times higher than in the GDR.

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