IW survey: Business looks optimistically ahead
As of: 12/27/2021 8:33 a.m.
The Institut der Deutschen Wirtschaft asked 48 industry associations about their expectations for the new year. There is almost always optimism. Few industries are facing difficult times.
Few companies in Germany will mourn the year 2021. At the beginning of the year, many of them were troubled by the permanent lockdown. There were also delivery bottlenecks for raw materials and preliminary products. The new association survey of the employer-related Institute of the German Economy (IW) indicates that many things could go better in the new year.
No decline in production expected
Of the 48 business associations surveyed, not a single one expects a decline in production or business for their respective industry. A large majority, on the other hand, expect the numbers to rise. In this context, the IW researchers speak of an “extraordinary expectation” for the German economy.
The positive assessments also predominate with regard to investment and employment. The view into the year 2021 is generally based on optimism, says Michael Hüther, the director of the Institut der Deutschen Wirtschaft. However, individual industries are facing difficult times. “Of course we are affected by pandemics in tourism and the trade fair industry,” says Hüther. It is also hardly surprising that the mining industry expects fewer investments and fewer employees in view of the planned phase-out from coal-fired power generation.
IW Director Michael Hüther expects a noticeable decrease in delivery bottlenecks in 2022.
Image: David Zajonz, WDR
Delivery bottlenecks could become less
Many industrial companies are pleased with the good order situation and the global economy. However, sectors such as paper processing and the glass industry are worried about the ongoing shortage of materials. Economist Hüther believes, however, that the delivery bottlenecks could become less in the coming year, something that can already be seen in some markets. With the semiconductors that are so important for the automotive industry, however, he expects more protracted difficulties. According to Hüthers, the shortage of skilled workers will continue to cause problems for companies, for example in the booming construction industry.
Effects of Omikron not foreseeable
The IW carried out the survey at the beginning of December. The effects of the Omikron variant on the associations could hardly be foreseen. In this respect, the positive prospects for the future are associated with uncertainties, says Hüther: “If there is a lack of workforce, if that lasts longer, then we will have completely different difficulties to talk about.” The pandemic therefore remains the major risk factor for the business world as well.