According to a DIHK survey, the majority of German companies are passing on the cost increases resulting from higher energy and raw material prices to their customers.

About three quarters of the companies stated that they wanted to increase prices in the future (34 percent) or had already done so (39 percent), said the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) on Tuesday when it presented its economic survey in Berlin.

According to a survey of around 25,000 companies from all sectors, 15 percent could not pass their cost increases on to customers, and six percent had not yet decided.

In view of the Russian attack on Ukraine and the tough lockdown in China, business expectations collapsed in almost all areas, especially in the energy-intensive branches of industry, as the DIHK announced last week.

Across all industries, just under a fifth of companies (19 percent) are optimistic about the next twelve months.

At the beginning of the year it was almost a quarter (24 percent).

A third assume worse business, before that it was 19 percent.

The majority of medium-sized companies see themselves in a position to be able to shoulder higher burdens as a result of rising energy costs in the longer term.

However, the customers of the companies have to be prepared for higher prices or have to pay them already, as a survey by the KfW development bank showed.

Four out of ten small and medium-sized companies in Germany have increased their prices for products and services to cushion rising prices for oil, gas and electricity.

About another third of SMEs are planning price increases by the end of 2022.

Upswing has fizzled out

The German chemical and pharmaceutical industry also remains cautious for 2022 in view of the sharp rise in energy costs and the Ukraine war.

"There is nothing left of the hoped-for upswing after the Corona winter," said VCI President Christian Kullmann in Frankfurt.

The prospects are increasingly gloomy due to rising energy and raw material costs.

In addition, industrial customers reduced their production due to disrupted supply chains and ordered fewer.

In the first quarter, sales in Germany's third largest industrial sector climbed by 7.8 percent to 66.3 billion euros compared to the previous quarter thanks to the sharp rise in prices.

Production rose by 1.3 percent in a quarterly comparison thanks only to the pharmaceutical industry, while pure chemical production fell by 1.1 percent.

The chemical and pharmaceutical industry experienced a record year in 2021.

With the recovery from the Corona crisis year 2020, sales in 2021 rose by 19.2 percent to 227.1 billion euros.

The DIHK recently revised its economic forecast downwards again.

For the current year he only expects economic growth of 1.0 to 1.5 percent.

In mid-February, the DIHK had predicted 3.0 percent - but this forecast had also been corrected downwards from the previous 3.6 percent.