Around 87.5 per cent of companies in Hamburg rate their current business situation as “good” (38.4 per cent) or “seasonal” (49.1 per cent) and only 12.5 per cent as “bad”, according to the latest economic barometer by the Chamber of Commerce. Although uncertainties in foreign trade are increasing, export prospects have improved slightly over the previous quarter. The labour market remains dynamic with 20.7 per cent planning to hire employees and 11.1 per cent planning decreased employee numbers.
Rising willingness to invest
The effects of economic tension between the United States and China are presenting Hamburg’s exporting companies with ever greater challenges, according to Dr. Fabian Kruse, Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce’s Foreign Trade Committee. Yet, 22.5 per cent of companies expect increased exports, 66.9 per cent expect no changes and 10.6 per cent expect deterioration. The willingness to invest has increased over summer 2018 and 34.3 per cent of companies plan to spend more on domestic investments in the next twelve months. Only 9.0 per cent of the companies surveyed intend to spend less.
Tough search for skilled workers
This year, the shortage of skilled workers poses the greatest risks to corporate economic development at 60.5 per cent, followed by economic policy conditions at 42.8 per cent, according to the interviewees. In the next twelve months, around two of three companies (67.5 per cent) expect the “business situation to remain roughly the same”. Almost the same number of companies expects a “more favourable” (17.1 per cent) or a “less favourable” (15.4 per cent) business situation. The most optimistic sectors are construction, media, IT, retail, property and housing as well as personnel service providers.
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