Stuttgart (dpa) - Concerns about the economy are increasingly spoiling the mood of small and medium-sized companies in Germany and making companies more careful with investments and new jobs.
Confidence still prevails, but overall the mood has deteriorated, according to the current "Mittelstandsbarometer" of the consulting firm EY, which is available from the German Press Agency.
Accordingly, one in ten medium-sized companies currently assess their business situation as bad or bad. A year ago, only three percent had seen it that way. Only 57 percent are fully satisfied - after 65 percent in the previous year. And according to the study, almost every third medium-sized company expects the general economic situation to deteriorate in the coming months. In early 2019, only 11 percent shared this view.
Nevertheless: "The mood in large parts of the German middle class is remarkably good despite the difficult economic situation," said EY Germany boss Hubert Barth. «In some industries - especially in the automotive and mechanical engineering sectors - companies have switched to crisis mode. For the majority of the other companies, however, business continues to be good to very good. »
According to the “Mittelstandsbarometer”, just under every third company in the automotive industry is satisfied with the current situation. In mechanical engineering, it is almost half. Both values have dropped significantly compared to the previous year. Most satisfied medium-sized companies can be found in the area of energy and water supply (73 percent) and in electrical engineering (70). The mood in the construction industry (68 percent) is even better than a year ago.
The bottom line is still positive, but at the same time significantly weakened, the willingness of companies to make investments or create new jobs. The fact that only one in four medium-sized companies wants to hire additional employees in the coming months is the lowest value since 2013. In the automotive industry, even more jobs are to be lost than new jobs.
"This means that regions with a high proportion of car manufacturers and suppliers are facing major challenges, such as the Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria and Lower Saxony region," said EY SME specialist Michael Marbler.