University of Mannheim: GBP-Monitor: Financial burden on companies in the 4th corona wave

Since the end of September, the German Business Panel at the University of Mannheim has been asking its panelists, among other things, what is currently particularly stressful in view of the pandemic and the countermeasures that have been initiated. Companies are currently experiencing additional financial burdens from sickness-related absences of employees, problems in the supply chain, investments in hygiene measures and digitalization problems.

With the entry into force of 3G in the workplace and further corona measures by the federal government at the end of November, these problems are in some cases considerably exacerbated. The proportion of companies that report financial burdens from investing in hygiene measures has risen by more than 10 percentage points to 47 percent compared to the previous week. Persistent national and international delivery bottlenecks are also becoming a financial burden for more and more companies: The proportion increases from 32 to 40 percent. The situation is different for financial burdens due to digitization problems and the absence of sick employees: The proportion of companies that report corresponding financial burdens remains relatively stable.

Once again it has been shown that the current pandemic is having a strong overall impact on the economic situation of companies: “The high level of uncertainty in the worsening pandemic and ongoing delivery bottlenecks now seem to be initiating a cooling of the growth trend that has been ongoing since spring 2021,” summarizes 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, with a view to the development of sales, profits and investments. “The decline in corporate investments is particularly noticeable. Although they are still growing, we see a very strong rate of change in November: from +8.54 to +2.55 percent, ”explains Bischof.

The satisfaction of companies with the corona policy is also suffering from the current developments. Business satisfaction with the general economic policy has been stable since August 2021 at a low value of 4 on a scale from 0 to 10. The satisfaction of companies with the corona policy was stable almost a whole point above this until late autumn Level. This has changed now. “After the acute outbreak of the 4th wave of infections, we see that the satisfaction of companies with the corona policy is falling significantly and continuously. Further impending restrictions and declines in sales are a heavy burden for the company, ”reports Dr. Davud Rostam-Afshar, the GBP Academic Director.

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, reports on particularly topical issues are provided every month. This month we asked companies the following question: Which state benefits would they most likely forego in order to help finance investments in climate protection and digitization?

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” (

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 nine universities are involved in the SFB: 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.