Steel production
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

In Q1 2022, about 13% of firms reported that they applied for a credit or a new credit line between October and December 2021, largely unchanged from the quarter before. Out of the firms that applied the percentage of firms that were granted a credit both in the requested amount and at the requested conditions remained at 49% largely unchanged. The share of firms that concluded at least one round of credit negotiations without a deal rose slightly to 16% in Q1 2022, from 14% in the quarter before.

Firms’ assessments
Changes in key business indicators

Looking back at the past 12 months, firms continued to report a decline in accessing intermediate inputs in Q1 2022. Inventories, on the other hand, increased. Access to short-term liquidity in Q1 2022 was reported to have deteriorated slightly compared with the positive development seen in past quarters. The credit demand increased over the reference period compared with the data from Q4 2021. In this context, firms’ options for accessing financing sources appear to have remained stable.

Firms’ expectations
Expectated changes in key business indicators

Firms’ expectations for their economic situation over the next 12 months remained broadly stable. Firms expected access to short-term liquidity to deteriorate slightly, while the credit demand was expected to increase. Access to financing sources and inventories, by contrast, were expected to remain largely stable.

Firms’ assessment of major problems
Challenges over the next 6 months

Throughout the Q1 2022, about 67% of firms expected availability of qualified workforce to become a major challenge for their business in the next six months, largely unchanged from the months before. An increasing percentage of firms expected the high production and labour costs to pose a challenge in the coming months. The percentage of firms expecting access to intermediate inputs to become a major challenge over the next six months rose as well to about 50% in March 2022, from 41% in February and 43% in January 2022. The percentage of firms expecting Corona-related restrictions to pose a major challenge, on the other hand, dropped to about 30% in March, from 32% in February and 43% in January 2022.