Brexit, the not too export-friendly policy of the new US government or the ongoing weakness that still prevails in some emerging markets are unable to spoil the good mood among small and medium-sized enterprises. The current business situation of the respondents of our SME survey that we launched 22 years ago has never been so good. Looking ahead into the near future, we can see that prospects have also improved considerably compared with last autumn. German SMEs have not been this optimistic for at least three years.
The overwhelmingly positive mood of the SMEs is supported by the continued good economic framework in Germany. Most notably, the propensity to consume among private households is fuelling the demand for goods and services provided by the SMEs that have not been greatly affected by the rise in energy costs. The equity ratio has also increased and the quality of the SMEs’ balance sheets is persistently high – all in all, a solid economic situation.
German SMEs are also well-placed to meet the long-term challenges they are up against in the future. Digitalisation and skills shortages in particular are topics the SMEs will have to deal intensively with in the years ahead. The results of our spring survey show that they are not just standing idly by but are reacting meaningfully and quickly with a suitable package of measures.