The business situation of the companies has improved significantly since spring 2021 and especially compared to the low in February. This is proven by the latest surveys by the German Business Panel at the University of Mannheim. The evaluations show that profits have increased by 1.7 percent compared to the same month of the previous year – and are thus rising again for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic. “The figures underline how well the companies have been able to cope with the currently unusually high energy prices and the ongoing delivery bottlenecks,” states Prof. Dr. Jannis Bischof, holder of the chair for general business administration and corporate accounting at the University of Mannheim and scientific project manager of the GBP.
The rapid recovery can partly be explained by the increase in their own prices: The proportion of companies that demanded higher prices from their customers and suppliers exceeded the proportion of price-reducing companies by 35.1 percentage points in October (compared to 21.9 percentage points in September ). But also targeted cost reductions, especially in the area of research and development, helped the companies to survive the crisis with increasing profits again. “Companies try to avoid price increases by balancing out various measures, but in retail in particular, price increases that directly affect consumers cannot be avoided,” reports Dr. Davud Rostam-Afshar, the GBP Academic Director.
The topic of the current survey was also the economic policy demands made by companies on the government that is being constituted. Among other things, the question was asked which issues are perceived as particularly urgent and what the companies expect from the new government. Two issues came to the fore: on the one hand, digitization (highest priority for 26 percent of those surveyed) and on the other hand, the labor and skilled worker shortage (highest priority for 27.4 percent of those surveyed). In the course of the pandemic, the subject of the shortage of skilled workers has faded into the background. “The responses of the company directors make it clear, however, that they expect a well-considered strategy from the new government on how qualified workers can be trained and recruited,” summarizes Bischof.
The GBP monitor for November 2021 can be found at:https://www.accounting-for-transparency.de/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/gbp_monitor_2021_11_web.pdf
Further information on the GBP-Monitor
The German Business Panel surveys more than 800 companies monthly about the company situation in Germany and collects data on 1) expected changes in turnover, profit and investment, 2) business decisions, 3) the expected probability of default in the industry and 4) satisfaction with economic policy. In addition, every month reports on particularly topical issues, such as this month’s economic policy preferences of companies.
Background information on the German Business Panel
The German Business Panel is a long-term survey panel of the DFG-funded supra-regional project “Accounting for Transparency” (www.accounting-for-transparency.de).
The Collaborative Research Center (SFB) “TRR 266 Accounting for Transparency” started in July 2019 and is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) for an initial four years. It is the first SFB with a business focus. Around 80 scientists from eight universities are involved in the CRC: University of Paderborn (host university), Humboldt University of Berlin and University of Mannheim, as well as researchers from Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich and ESMT Berlin, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, and Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg. The researchers investigate how accounting and taxation influence the transparency of companies and how regulations and company transparency affect the economy and society. The funding volume of the SFB is around 12 million euros.