Economic report by ZDH forecasts solid business

Good news is reported by the »Economic trade report for the spring 2006«, which was presented on Wednesday by Hanns-Eberhard Schleyer, secretary-general of the Federal Association of German Trade (ZDH). The economy was gaining momentum and expectations as regards future business are as positive as they were for the last time five years ago. Seen on a seasonal basis, however, economic indicators such as turnover, activity and backlogged orders continue to decline. At least the decline registered at the beginning of this year is not as sharp as in previous years. But, according to the association´s experts, increasing costs and continuous record-level energy prices weigh heavily on companies´ balance sheets.

As many as 65 percent of companies in West Germany judge their business position to be good or satisfactory, which amounts to a level being 13 points above the result of the same quarter of last year and to as many points as were achieved already in autumn 2005. In the East of Germany 58 percent of companies are said to be in a satisfactory position, which are ten percent more as compared to the same quarter last year. In contrast to the usual sharp downturn in spring time, the business climate indicator has not decreased in the West and only slightly in the East with regard to autumn last year.

Such is the brief summary of the findings of the spring survey in which about 16.000 West German and 6.000 East German companies took part. The complete economic report as well as the full statement by Hanns-Eberhard Schleyers can be downloaded in PDF format from the Internet. GERMAN