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Good prospects for commerce in Hamburg at turn of year

Stable and positive outlook - IHK survey

Hamburg’s economy was in great shape at the end of 2017 and early 2018, according to Chamber of Industry and Commerce’s latest economic barometer. A total of 670 companies have been surveyed about their business status and prospects. At the close of 2017, the business climate index of Hamburg’s economy had increased to 124.3 points – an increase of 8.0 (test) points over the last survey three months earlier. Companies were more optimistic about their business and overall expectations.

Above-average satisfaction among tradespeople and service providers

Christi Degen, General Manager of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce, stressed: “The companies’ appraisals are even better than the last economic survey in autumn 2017.” At the end of 2017, 43.8 per cent of the companies surveyed rated their present business situation as “good” and 6.4 per cent as “bad”. Degen added: “This figure is not only better than in the previous quarter, but is also the highest in ten years.” The index last achieved a record high in the final quarter of 2007 with +43.8. The manufacturing sector, the transport industry and consulting services have expressed above average satisfaction this time.

Lack of skilled workers still an issue

In reference to 2018, 24.3 per cent of the companies surveyed expect “rather favourable” business and 11.9 per cent “rather unfavourable” business. The interviewees cited the ongoing lack of skilled workers (54.1 per cent) and unfavourable economic framework conditions (42.7 per cent) as the biggest risks to economic prospects (multiple answers were possible). The lack of skilled workers was rated even more critically than in autumn 2017. Yet, domestic and foreign demand remained largely unchanged and even mitigated risks have been noted.

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