Hamburg's economy on road to recovery

Chamber of Commerce survey indicates upward trend and more confidence
20 July 2021

Hamburg's economy is recovering noticeably from the pandemic, according to the Chamber of Commerce's latest survey. Almost 610 companies surveyed rate their present business situation more positively than in April 2021 and expressed greater optimism about the next 12 months.

Business climate at pre-crisis levels

Around 35 per cent of companies are in a good economic situation, 43 per cent in a satisfactory or seasonal situation and 21 per cent in a poor situation, the survey found. Some 57 per cent of respondents expect their business situation to remain unchanged over the next 12 months. A good 27 per cent expect an improvement and 15 per cent a deterioration. Overall, the business climate in Hamburg has returned to pre-crisis levels for the first time since late 2019.

Every fifth firm to hire more staff

Every fifth company is likely to hire more employees given the upward trend in many sectors, the survey forecast. "Recruitment and more investments send a good signal from Hamburg," said Astrid Nissen-Schmidt, Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce. Crucially, companies must hire suitable skilled personnel or train them themselves. "The apprenticeship market has been hit hard by the lack of vocational guidance for young people. We must ensure that we do not move from a coronavirus-induced crisis to a skilled labour crisis." The catering industry is still experiencing difficulties, she added. Almost all companies in the sector rate their current business situation as bad with respondents expressing pessimism about the next 12 months.

Hamburg now leading location in Germany 

Companies feel particularly comfortable in Hamburg, according to the July 2021 ranking of locations by Die Deutsche Wirtschaft (DDW). Hamburg topped the ranking ahead of Munich and Berlin. And Hamburg is Germany's most popular location for leading SMEs with 984 top companies and 33 global market leaders. Around 190 family-owned companies such as Otto GmbH & Co. KG are located in Hamburg, which is also particularly attractive for foreign investors. The city has the most with 484 foreign-owned companies.