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Economy in Hamburg grows stronger than German average

Results of survey and forecasts for 2016 and 2017. Firms are positive about business development. Monitoring results of professsionals presented

Hamburg’s economy is in good shape this spring, according to the latest survey of Chamber of Commerce members. “The companies which we surveyed are all quite positive about their present and future business situations, their personnel and investment requirements and their export prospects,” said Prof. Hans-Jörg Schmidt-Trenz, CEO of the Chamber of Commerce. Hamburg will notch up growth of around 1.4 per cent this year and 1.6 per cent in 2017 and slight growth of 1.3 per cent over the entire German average.

Real estate industry shows above-average satisfaction

By the end of this year’s first quarter, the business climate indicator for Hamburg’s economy had reached 114.9 (test) points meaning the business climate had dropped by a mere 1.3 points since the last survey. At present, one third (34.4 per cent) of companies rate their own business situations as “good”. Around every ninth firm (11.5 per cent) rated the situation as “bad” (on balance: plus 22.9; previous quarter: plus 28.4). Capital goods manufacturers, the real-estate industry and business-to-business service providers showed above-average satisfaction.

Domestic economy is a pillar of economic support

“The continuing, good business climate in Hamburg complies with the robust economy in Germany,” said Prof. Henning Vöpel, Director of the Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI). However, the diverse risks in the world economy are dampening business expectations. Slower growth in China and other important emerging countries like Russia or Brazil would take an immediate toll on Hamburg’s economy via foreign trade, said Vöpel. Yet, the domestic economy still continues to support the commercial situation in Hamburg and in Germany overall. He added: “The business services sector and the building industry make decisive contributions to growth in Hamburg.”

Monitoring professionals

In the forecast period, private consumption remains the most important pillar of economic support for Germany overall. Next year, global economic recovery could lead to stronger growth impulses from foreign trade for Hamburg. Asked about their business expectations at the end of this year’s first quarter, over every second company (53.2 per cent) said they expected a “fairly constant” development.

A monitor of professionals for Hamburg was presented as well as an economic barometer. Accordingly, Hamburg’s economy will probably have 169,000 professionals less by 2030 compared to this year’s level. While the city’s economy lacked around 17,000 professionals in 2016, this figure could increase to around 59,000 people by 2030.

Commenting on the figures obtained by WifOR and the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK), Dr. Sandra Hofmann, Director of Job Market Research at WifOR, said: “The demographic development in terms of ageing, but also contraction in the labour force is presenting the job market and firms in Hamburg with challenges. At present, the job market already lacks up to 17,000 professionals.” She added: “The situation will exacerbate in the coming years especially when the so-called baby boomer generation retires.”
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