Recruit Sales in Germany Update Bulletin December 2021

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Recruiting Sales Talent in Germany Bulletin

Welcome to our December 2021 Recruiting  Sales Talent in Germany Bulletin.

The economy of Germany is a highly developed social market economy. It has the largest national economy in Europe, the fourth-largest by nominal GDP in the world, and fifth by GDP. 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, engineering, and the chemical industry.

Medium-sized enterprises form the heart of the German economy. In other words, companies with an annual turnover of less than fifty million euros and less than five hundred employees. This sector of the economy embraces 99.6 per cent of German companies. More than 1,000 of these companies are so-called hidden champions, i.e., often publicly less well-known international market leaders.

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.

Economic Commentary - what they are saying


The current state of the German economy is still very much influenced by the Covid-19 pandemic. With global supply bottlenecks in intermediate products holding back domestic industry despite strong domestic and foreign demand, the German economy is struggling to push economic output beyond 2% growth in 2021. Gross domestic product (GDP) rose by just 1.8% in Q3 over Q2 2021. Accordingly, exports have also lost momentum and are expected to remain static for the time being.

The ifo Business Climate Index (ifo institute 2021) also points towards contraction, remaining well below the 100-point mark. In November, the index fell to 96.5 points, down from 97.7 points in October. This represents the fifth decline in a row, indicating deteriorating optimism in companies’ short-term business outlook. Companies’ assessments of their current situation are also less positive, and capacity utilisation in manufacturing is falling.

As a result, the forecast for GDP growth in 2021 has been marked down to 2.1%.

The recovery in Germany will stagnate during the winter season since the service sector will remain below usual activity levels because of soaring new infections.

As of November 2021, the vaccination program had delivered doses to more than 71% of the population, with only about 68% now being fully vaccinated. In total, around 118 million doses have been administered so far.

Since September, booster vaccinations have been offered to people in need, though numbers remain worryingly low. To date, just over six million people have received this additional vaccination.

Furthermore, geopolitical and policy risks remain, and may continue to jeopardise the return to pre-crisis economic growth patterns.

These risks include rising interest rates in the US and the euro area, continuous supply chain disruptions leading to shortages of essential goods and services in Germany and soaring energy prices, especially gas. Also, strained relations with Russia are not improving the situation.

The GfK Consumer Climate Indicator in Germany fell to -1.6 heading into December 2021 from an upwardly revised 1 in November and compared to market forecasts of -0.5 points.

It was the lowest reading since June, as consumers are increasingly worried about inflation and the COVID-19 situation, which negatively affects the propensity to buy as well as both economic and income expectations.

Inflation has climbed to a worrying new high of over 5% pushing up prices especially in the retail sector, food especially. This level is however not expected to be maintained going into 2022.

German Exports

Exports from Germany went up 7.1% year on year to EUR 117.8 billion in September of 2021, boosted by sales to the EU (9.2%) and the US (16.2%) while those to China edged down 0.2%. On a seasonally adjusted basis, exports declined 0.7%, a second consecutive decrease, as supply chain disruptions continue to hurt the economy.

The Government

Germany has formed a new Government, a coalition made up of the Labour Party, the Greens, and the Liberals to be headed up by Olaf Schulz the present Finance minister.

Led by a party that has functioned as Angela Merkel’s junior coalition partner for twelve of the last 16 years, and two parties with the energy to do things differently, Germany’s next government represents an odd mix of status quo thinking and reformist instincts.

Compiled by SA in December 2021 from various public and widely available news sources and articles.

*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