IFO: "Numbers give hope": Material shortages in industry are easing

The GDP could have been up to 1.

IFO: "Numbers give hope": Material shortages in industry are easing

The GDP could have been up to 1.5 percentage points higher recently if German industry had not suffered so much from material shortages, IMK researchers calculate. After all, the number of affected companies is decreasing. However, the IFO Institute does not want to give the all-clear.

The lack of material in German industry is lower than it has been for a good year and a half. According to the IFO Institute's monthly survey, 59.3 percent of companies reported bottlenecks in November. This is the lowest value since April 2021. In October, 63.8 percent of companies complained about shortages of important materials and intermediate products. "The numbers give hope. However, we cannot yet speak of a far-reaching relaxation," said Klaus Wohlrabe, head of the IFO surveys. "Many orders can still not be processed."

In the important automotive industry, the proportion of affected companies rose against the trend from 74.9 to 83.2 percent. In mechanical engineering, it fell, but only to 78.7 percent. At more than 70 percent, the share is also with the beverage manufacturers, the manufacturers of electrical equipment as well as electronic and optical products. In metal production and processing, on the other hand, the situation has eased: at 16.1 percent, the share of companies is as low as it was at the beginning of the procurement crisis.

Whether microchips, plastics or packaging: According to a study, the lack of preliminary products from abroad is expensive for German industry. From the beginning of 2021 to mid-2022, goods worth almost 64 billion euros could not be manufactured due to supply bottlenecks, according to a study by the institute for macroeconomics and economic research, which is close to the trade unions. German gross domestic product could have been 1.2 percent higher at the end of 2021 and 1.5 percent higher in mid-2022 if all new orders could have been processed.

"These numbers underscore the need to prioritize supply chain resilience at the expense of cost efficiency in the future," the researchers write. One reason for the problems is the Corona crisis. Due to recurring lockdowns in China - Germany's most important trading partner - many urgently needed parts could not be delivered or could only be delivered with a considerable delay.