Recruit Sales in Germany Update Bulletin October 2023

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Recruiting in Germany Bulletin – October 2023

Some facts about Germany

Germany has a population of eighty-four million people.

Germany is the seventh-largest country in Europe. Covering an area of 137,847 square miles, of which 34,836 square miles is covered by land and 3,011 square miles contain water.

The economy of Germany is a highly developed social market economy. The country accounts for about 28% of the euro area economy according to the IMF. 

In Germany the share of industry in gross value added is 22.9 per cent, making it the highest among the G7 countries. The strongest sectors are vehicle construction, electrical industry, general engineering, and the chemical industry.

Germany is one of the world’s largest motor car producers. China and the USA are the two biggest export markets for German cars.

Germany is one of the world’s premier locations for organising international trade fairs. Two-thirds of the major global industrial events take place in Germany. Ten million visitors attend around 150 international trade fairs and exhibitions each year.


The leading economic research institutes have lowered their forecasts for the development of the gross domestic product (GDP). Instead of the previously expected growth of 0.3% for the current year, a decline of 0.6% is now predicted.

The government also lowered its forecast from +0.4% in March to -0.4%. The most important reason is the slower than expected recovery of industry and private consumption.

As Russian imports to Germany and most other EU countries have been drastically reduced, energy prices have soared. This has hit Germany, the EU’s biggest economy, badly, especially production industries reliant on cheap electricity and gas and normal consumers of course.

“Investment activity, especially in industry, is likely to fall in the coming year due to the combination of cost shocks and a pessimistic outlook for business development”, according to the Federal Association of German industry (BDI).

Inflation in Germany weakened significantly in September and October. Consumer prices however increased by 4.5% compared to the same period last year. 

Overall, the hope is that the economic downturn will be short-lived, especially the German government hopes. It predicts positive growth rates again for 2024.

German Exports October 2023

Germany's exports are faltering. In August, German companies sold goods abroad for 128 billion euros. That was 1.2% less than in July. Compared to the previous year, exports were even down by 5.8%.

Nevertheless, Germany's position in foreign trade has improved significantly compared to the crisis year 2022. The surplus is rising. This means that foreign trade is once again making a strong contribution to Germany's prosperity.

This is because Germany's expenditure on imports fell more sharply than its income from exports. Germany bought goods abroad for 111.4 billion euros in August. Imports were thus 16.8% below the previous year. The main reason for this is that Germany has to spend less money on imports for oil, gas, and coal than a year ago.

However, exporters, like the rest of the German economy, remain in a state between recession and stagnation. The global weakness in demand is hitting companies increasingly, and order books are getting thinner. The mood in the export industry is currently worse than it has been for more than three years. The barometer for export expectations fell to - 11.3 points in September, from - 6.5 points in August.

Besides China, exports to almost all destinations relevant for German companies are down, with a marked 2.6% decline in euro zone exports and exports to the United States falling by 1.3%. Exports to China are up 1.2%, due mainly to the ongoing strength of German motor car exports, especially in the luxury segment.

Employment October 2023

High unemployment, which normally would be a characteristic of a flat or decreasing economic picture is not expected.

However, the traces of the weak economic performance are visible on the labour market, but it is still in a much better position than the economy.


Finding the key staff companies need is still a major priority for business in Germany. If you are looking to recruit experienced sales staff to enable you to exploit new or existing markets within Germany, the UK, Europe or further afield, please call us for a no-obligation discussion.

*Please note the information contained herein is an aggregate of news stories, by commentators widely available - readers should seek independent verification, and this in no way represents the views or opinions of Standley Associates.

We will continue to check the news reports and will provide monthly summaries of the trends