Last updateMon, 01 Feb 2021 12pm

November 2020: Business climate clouds over only slightly despite the partial lockdown; outlook for the coming months is not very confident

Despite the partial lockdown in November caused by the corona, the business climate in the German print and media industry cooled only relatively slightly. The business climate index calculated by the Bundesverband Druck und Medien (German Printing and Media Industries Federation) fell by a seasonally adjusted 2.0 per cent to 91.0 points compared with the previous month. As a result, the year-on-year decline was 9.3 per cent, albeit much less pronounced than during the lockdown in spring - in April the index fell by 18.3 per cent year on year.

In November, the print and media enterprises surveyed by the ifo Institute rated their current business situation better than in October. However, their outlook for the months ahead was much more pessimistic than in the previous month. The figures for the current and expected business situation determine the business climate, which is a good leading indicator of production trends in the print and media industry.
Having fallen by around 3 per cent month on month in October, the seasonally adjusted business climate index rose by 5.9 per cent in November, reaching 85.2 points, its highest level since the lockdown month of April. As a result of this increase, the index was able to reduce its year-on-year decline from -21.3 per cent to -13.2 per cent. A recent slight improvement in the order situation may have contributed to the year-on-year decline. Nonetheless, only around 4 per cent of business owners considered their order books to be relatively large in November. Around 45 per cent, on the other hand, were dissatisfied with their order backlog. This represents a year-on-year decline of around 20 percentage points.
The expectations of print and media enterprises regarding their future business situation were much more pessimistic than in October. In November, the seasonally adjusted index of business expectations fell by 9.3 per cent compared with the previous month, thus recording the third sharpest decline in more than two years. After four months in a row above the previous year's level, the index stood at 97.3 points in November, slightly more than 5 per cent below the previous year's level. Although recent developments around a corona vaccine have created confidence, companies appear to be preparing for a winter of extensive restrictions and weak orders. Only around 6 percent of companies expect their production activity to increase in the coming months, while around 26 percent expect a decline in production. Compared to the previous year, the balance deteriorated by around 29 percentage points.


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