German business and employer associations are cautiously optimistic about 2015. They expect orders, production and sales to rise, and only a few industries are predicting workforce reductions, despite various economic and political uncertainties at home and abroad.
That’s the key message of the survey of business and employer associations conducted by the Cologne Institute for Economic Research, IW.
Michael Hüther, the institute’s director, noted that while “many order books are still full,” more and more companies see risks resulting from international and national developments. Among them: the euro zone’s weakening economy; the crisis in Ukraine and the conflict between the West and Russia; as well as the minimum wage and early retirement.
All of the issues affect the German economy. Only seven of the 48 associations assessed the current economic situation as better than a year ago, according to the IW poll. Twenty industries reported a gloomier mood. This is the worst assessment since 2008.
A year ago, 26 associations reported a positive economic outlook and market sentiment looking forward.