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Positive Perspectives for Northern German Foreign Trade

Results of a survey published conducted by the leading employers’ association in the business sector, AGA. Sales growth in almost all northern German states in Q 3, 2015

The North German wholesale and foreign trade is optimistic about the next six months. While sales remained stable in the second quarter, they rose by 0.4 per cent in the third quarter. The AGA Indicator, which summarises the assessment of the current and projected earnings, thus fell by 8.7 points to 113.5, but continues to lie on a pleasant level. This is the result of a survey conducted by AGA among its 3,500 member companies in Germany’s five coastal states.

Current Challenges

“The mood in the northern German wholesale and foreign trade is good. But that can not hide the fact that we are facing major challenges. Yet, trade in northern Germany benefits from the cheap euro and the low price of oil. But the unresolved euro debt crisis and the challenges posed by the wave of refugees have a lasting impact on the economic development in Europe, including in northern Germany”, said Dr. Hans Fabian Kruse, President of the AGA business association, on occasion of the launch of the latest economic survey on 9 November 2015.

Sales Grows In Northern German States

24 per cent of businesses in the northern German wholesale and foreign trade currently assess their income situation as positive (previous quarter: 31 per cent), only 18 per cent call it negative (previous quarter: 16 per cent). The outlook until the end of March 2016 are good: 47 per cent of companies expect rising sales (previous quarter: 50 per cent), 11 per cent forecast lower revenue (previous quarter: 10 per cent). The positive expectation of establishments remained at Q2’s level of 27 per cent.

In Q3 2015, almost all north German states reported increased sales. Lower Saxony recorded a growth of one per cent, and thus the biggest gain in sales (previous quarter: -0.8 per cent), followed by Hamburg with 0.7 per cent (previous quarter: -0.5 per cent) and Schleswig-Holstein with 0.5 per cent (previous quarter: 1, 8 per cent). The only North German federal state with a minus in this quarter is Bremen with -1.2 per cent (previous quarter: -0.2 per cent).

Expectations in Hamburg

In Hamburg, 22 per cent of AGA members assessed their current business situation as positive (previous quarter: 34 per cent), 20 per cent as negative (previous quarter: 21 per cent). The outlook for the next six months: 46 per cent of companies expect an increase in revenue (previous quarter: 46 per cent) and 31 per cent expect higher profits (previous quarter: 28 per cent).

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About the AGA

For more than 60 years, AGA has been providing a wide range of services and support for its members in the maritime regions. Located in Hamburg with further offices and representatives in Bremen, Lower Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein, and Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, it is ideally placed to represent the views of the wholesale and foreign trade and all company related services in Northern Germany. The AGA represents 3,500 mostly small and medium-sized businesses with more than 150,000 employees. With an annual turnover of 288 billion euro, wholesale and foreign trade are key industries in Northern Germany.

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