Companies want to hire more employees again

The important Ifo barometer climbs for the fifth time in a row. The individual industries develop very differently – and at the same time the economy is doing less.

An employee at the Volkswagen plant in Zwickau completes a VW ID.4

Mith the better economy, more German companies are planning new hires. The employment barometer climbed by 0.9 to 96.3 points in September and thus for the fifth time in a row, as the Munich-based Ifo Institute announced on Monday for its monthly company survey. This is the highest value since February, after which the corona crisis clearly depressed the willingness of companies to hire. “The economic recovery is also increasingly reflected in employment,” said Ifo expert Klaus Wohlrabe. After the historic Corona slump of 9.7 percent in gross domestic product in spring, the institute expects growth of 6.6 percent in the summer quarter that is coming to an end.

The industry recently continued its upward trend. “Overall, however, employees are still more likely to be laid off than hired,” said Wohlrabe. The service providers, on the other hand, are planning to hire more staff – especially the IT service providers. In retail, the employment barometer made a significant leap upwards. In the construction industry, too, the companies are now planning to increase their workforce.

Less implemented in August

At the same time, industry, construction, trade and service providers earned less income in August for the first time after three increases in a row. The turnover of the commercial economy was seasonally and calendar adjusted by 1.3 percent lower than in the previous month, as the Federal Statistical Office announced on Monday. “After the low point in April 2020 and the subsequent three-month recovery phase, a decline in sales is becoming apparent again for the first time.” Due to late registrations, however, the result could still improve. The current value is 4.7 percent lower than in February, the month before the restrictions caused by the corona pandemic in Germany.

The statisticians use the monthly sales tax returns for this indicator. This enables statements to be made at an early stage – even before the official results from the surveys by economic sector are available. However, the leading indicator does not yet show the methodological maturity and robustness of official statistics and is therefore part of the experimental data. Since the publications began in April, the initially calculated rates of change later had to be revised upwards by two to three percentage points. “If this pattern is also shown in the current information, there would be a plus for the sales development in August 2020”, according to the Federal Office.

The gross domestic product collapsed at a record rate of 9.7 percent in the spring due to the corona pandemic. Experts predict a strong recovery for the end of the summer quarter. The Ifo Institute, for example, expects economic growth of 6.6 percent.