Steel production ©dpa
Survey on the expectations of firms in Germany

Through its academic survey, the Research Centre of the Deutsche Bundesbank is obtaining a picture of the current situation among firms in Germany and gaining greater insight into their expectations for the coming months. Over time, the survey also provides crucial information on changes within the corporate sector.

Firms’ Demand for Credit
Credit demand among firms

Firms’ demand for credit went up slightly in 2023 Q2. About 15% of firms reported having conducted loan negotiations in the quarter before compared to 12% in the quarter before. Of those firms that carried out loan negotiations, 17% reported that they had secured a loan both for the desired amount and at the desired conditions (previous quarter: 30%). As in the previous quarter, 36% of firms applying for a loan secured one for the desired amount but at less favourable conditions.

Firms’ Assessments
Changes in key business indicators

In 2023 Q2, far fewer firms (27%) reported a deterioration in their access to intermediate inputs over the past twelve months than in 2023 Q1 (42%). As in previous quarters, more firms reported an increase in inventories over the past twelve months (28%) than a decrease (18%). The share of firms that reported a deterioration in access to financing sources was, at 19%, almost unchanged compared to the previous quarter (20%) and the share of firms reporting a decrease in short-term liquidity remained, at 29%, also about the same as in the quarter before. In 2023 Q2, about 20% of firms reported an increase in short-term liquidity (previous quarter: 21%).

Firms’ Expectations
Expectated changes in key business indicators

In 2023 Q2, firms had once revised upwards their expectations about access to intermediate inputs over the next twelve months. About 20% of firms expected an improvement in access to intermediate inputs, while only 17% of firms expected a deterioration. The share of firms expecting a reduction in inventories over the next twelve months remained at 20% about the same as in 2023 Q1 (21%). Expectations of short-term liquidity remained also stable, with about 25% of firms expecting a decline. About 26% of firms (previous quarter: 27%) were expecting their need for credit financing to increase over the next twelve months. The majority of firms (73%) continued to expect their access to financing sources to remain unchanged over the next twelve months, compared with 72% in the previous quarter.

Challenges Faced by Firms
Challenges over the next 6 months

The share of firms which perceive challenges stemming from the availability of suitable specialist staff (March: 66%) and high production and labour costs (March: 52%) remained high in March 2023. Only 21% of firms in March 2023 considered access to intermediate inputs to be a pressing problem over the next six months. This is the lowest figure since February 2021. As expected, few firms (March: 8%) consider restrictions on their business activities due to the coronavirus pandemic to be a significant problem over the next six months.