In 1949, West Germany's states united to form the Federal Republic of Germany. Among them were Bavaria, Bremen, Hamburg, Baden, Saarland, Saxony, and Thuringia. The remaining states were combinations of smaller states and Prussian provinces.
Baden, Württemberg-Hohenzollern, and Württemberg-Baden became Baden-Württemberg in 952, while the Saarland was returned by France in 1957. Berlin, under the Allies' control, became a state after German reunification in 1990. Germany has 13 area states and 3 city-states, namely, Berlin, Hamburg, and Bremen.
Germany has a highly developed social market economy and has a largest national economy in Europe. Its GDP fluctuates due to currency exchange rates. It has the highest trade surplus globally and is a major capital exporter, with a focus on services, industry, and agriculture.
Germany's economy is less likely to be affected by financial downturns. It excels in manufacturing and applied research. The nation is rich in natural resources and leads in renewable energy production. It is also home to numerous globally recognized companies and hosts many international trade fairs and congresses.
In 1938, Germany and Austria united qand the Reichsmark replaced the Schilling in Austria. During World War II, Germany manipulated exchange rates to gain economic advantages. However, excessive spending during the Nazi regime led to inflation and an economic crisis. After the war, the Reichsmark lost its value due to massive inflation. It continued to circulate in Germany with new banknotes featuring allied occupation marks and coins without swastikas.