The business climate in the Hamburg Metropolitan Region was slightly more cautious in the third quarter than in the previous quarter and was best among firms in Mecklenburg West-Pomerania, according to a survey of 1,378 firms in trade and industry and 757 handcraft firms conducted by the Initiative pro Metropolregion Hamburg e.V. (IMH).
Less momentum in German economy
The business climate in the region dropped in autumn 2016 to 113.4 points over 116.7 in the previous quarter and 114.2 points in the same quarter last year. The opposite trend was noticed in Mecklenburg West-Pomerania where the climate index increased to 130.5 points. Some 90 per cent of firms in the region say their business situation is “good” or “satisfactory”, but they are not optimistic about the future. The lack of optimism is in accordance with forecasts by the Council of Experts of reduced momentum in the German economy in 2017. Export prospects for 2017 are slightly worse, but still positive. Some 29.4 per cent of firms expect rising exports while 15 per cent expect a drop.
Impact of world trade
“Several factors are contributing to the development including conflicts in the southern and eastern Mediterranean countries, the current economic downturn in our foreign trade partner China and the effects of elections in the U.S. The planned Brexit from the European Union will negatively impact foreign trade in the Hamburg Metropolitan Region,” said Prof. Hans-Jörg Schmidt-Trenz, Chairman of IMH’s Board of Directors and CEO, Hamburg Chamber of Commerce.
Business climate reaches record high among craftspeople
The business climate among craftspeople in the Hamburg Metropolitan Region reached a record 139 points in autumn and was best in Mecklenburg West-Pomerania. Over half of companies surveyed said their business situation is “good” and they also expressed optimism about the future. Some 39 per cent expect improved business next year. Craft companies are expecting higher order numbers and sales increases. Henning Albers, a member of IMH’s Board of Directors and Managing Director of the Chamber of Crafts, stressed: “The business climate among all craft groups is better than last year. This positive development applies especially to the construction industry and renovation trade.”
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