There can be no doubt that the East German economy in the 1980s lagged remarkably behind that of the Federal Republic of Germany. Estimates of the gross domestic product undertaken during the second half of the 1980s from different Western economic institutions showed a gap of between 46 per cent and 52 per cent. 1 Nevertheless it was a functioning economy with GDP growth rates in the second half of the 1980s between 2 per cent and 4 per cent. 2 The GDR had the highest productivity standard within the CMEA. 3