Stuttgart (dpa / lsw) - After a good mood in the trades at the end of 2022, concerns about declining orders are increasing in the new year. According to the Baden-Württemberg Crafts Day, more than one in four companies currently expects a drop in orders in the first quarter. "Companies are unsettled because they often don't even know how the energy crisis will affect them - the annual accounts are often still outstanding," said Rainer Reichhold, President of the State Trade and Industry, on Thursday. At the latest when additional payments and higher deductions are threatened, the complaints of the companies could become louder. It is all the more important that the hardship aid comes to absorb particularly affected companies.
In the fourth quarter of 2022, the business situation of 1,500 surveyed craft businesses in the south-west was assessed as predominantly positive. Almost 70 percent of the companies described their situation as "good", almost a quarter as "medium" and only nine percent as "bad". According to the survey, companies from the main construction and finishing trades were the most satisfied - despite rising interest rates and expensive materials.
The forecast for the first quarter of 2023, on the other hand, is quite gloomy. A nearly two-thirds majority is still assuming that the situation will remain unchanged, but the number of pessimists has risen significantly to a good 20 percent compared to the same period last year. According to Reichhold, expectations of the development of orders are also subdued. 22 percent of the companies expected an increase in orders, 27 percent a minus. However, the gloomy forecasts for the future have not yet had an impact on employment. Around 13 percent of companies want to increase the number of their employees in the first quarter, only nine percent expect a decrease.
The chambers of crafts survey 1,500 companies from all regions and craft groups every quarter. The state economic report is created from the assessments of the companies.