Leipzig (dpa) - The East German construction industry is pessimistic about the new year.
According to a survey by the Construction Industry Association of the East from November 2020, a good half of the companies expect falling sales, only a good quarter expect rising.
"The corona pandemic is now also noticeable in construction," said the association's chief executive, Robert Momberg.
"We expect that it will hit the construction industry with a delay."
Momberg does not expect a decrease in the number of employees.
The construction industry association represents the interests of 260 companies with a total of 20,000 employees in the states of Berlin, Brandenburg, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt.
The total order volume of the East German construction industry had declined by 3.9 percent as of October 2020, it said.
It was 14.5 billion euros.
The situation, especially in residential construction, is worrying.
There the orders fell by 9.4 percent to around 2.8 billion euros.
Road construction is also a major concern.
Here demand fell by 8.1 percent to 2.6 billion euros.
In 2019, the East German construction industry achieved a turnover of 19.7 billion euros.
By the end of October 2020, according to the association, with a turnover of 16 billion euros, the industry companies still achieved a slight increase of 2.6 percent compared to the same period of the previous year.
But the negative trend is already noticeable in road construction, said Momberg.
Sales there fell by 3.7 percent.
There has been progress in companies in digitizing processes.
A good 90 percent of companies with more than 100 employees use digital applications on construction sites.
For companies with fewer than 50 employees, it is two thirds.
However, the corona pandemic has clearly shown that many administrative processes still do not work digitally, criticized the managing director.
"The authorities still work too much with paper."
There are already approaches to digitization, but that is by far not enough.
There must be better networking between the authorities and with the construction companies.
The shortage of skilled workers is still a challenge.
According to an association survey, only 35 percent of the companies were able to fill all training positions in the commercial sector in the 1st training year 2020/21.
The reason for this is a lack of applicants, but also the young people's lack of training maturity.
Construction Industry Association East