Corona crisis dampening business in Hamburg

Industry remains economic engine, says report by Chamber of Commerce
01 February 2021
Aerial view of Hamburg

The corona-induced crisis and lockdown are continuing to dampen business in Hamburg, according to the Chamber of Commerce’s latest report published Wednesday (January 27, 2021). Three out of ten companies surveyed are currently in a poor economic situation. The same number of respondents expect the economic situation to deteriorate in 2021 while around one in two companies expects the situation to remain unchanged. Some 714 businesses were surveyed between December 17, 2020 and January 14, 2021 for the report.

No sign of economic recovery 

A long-term economic recovery is not in sight, according to Prof. Norbert Aust, President of the Chamber of Commerce Hamburg. "The decision by the federal and state governments to extend and tighten the corona measures will have enormous consequences for Hamburg's economy in the coming months and continue the unprecedentedly poor economic development," he added. Around 28 per cent of businesses surveyed are expected to cut their workforce in 2021, the report found. "For us, the rule since the beginning of the pandemic has been: no previously healthy company should go bankrupt because of corona." It is up to politicians to act. Targeted aid packages and a plan with a gradual reopening perspective are a must, Aust added. 

Industry remains economic engine

Retail, personnel service providers and the hospitality sector have been forced to lockdown temporarily and are faring badly, the survey found. Respondents in the arts, entertainment, recreation sectors and travel agencies termed their situation poor. Property and housing, the financial sector as well as the media and IT sectors have been only slightly hit by the pandemic. Industry remains the motor of Hamburg's economy even in a crisis. "We must keep the engines of the economy running in view of the persistently poor overall situation," said Dr. Malte Heyne, CEO of the Chamber of Commerce, Hamburg. Global supply chains for goods and services cannot be disrupted by policy measures in future. "Basically, we have to ask how we in Hamburg want to live in future and from what. We must bolster our strong industries, promote innovation and focus on sustainability. At the same time, we cannot lose lose sight of the industries that are not allowed do business at present. "The diversity of the economy, which we must preserve at all costs, is Hamburg's strength," Heyne added.