Even though the German economy shrank slightly in the second quarter and the manufacturing sector in particular is suffering from weak demand: With around one million enterprises, the skilled trades in Germany are doing excellently. This is by no means due solely to the construction and finishing trades, whose sales rose by 6.4% and 4.0% respectively in the spring.
These two large segments of the skilled trades, together with the health sector and the skilled trades, set the pace for private demand. Compared to the previous year, however, sales in the second quarter grew in all seven branches of trade, even in the case of crafts for commercial requirements, which are noticeably dependent on industry. On the whole, the skilled trades are missing the extremely high growth momentum of the first quarter. Nevertheless, sales in the second quarter rose by a total of 3.3% in the craft trades requiring registration and by 3.0% in the non-approved trades.
In view of the good demand, the number of employees in the craft trades requiring registration was also slightly higher than in the second quarter of 2018. Overall, almost one eighth of all employees and more than one fifth of all trainees are employed in the German skilled trades.
With its current development, the craft trades once again prove that it is a solid pillar of the German economy. Since there are still many orders in the pipeline, at least in the construction and expansion trades, and the healthcare sector is also still booming, the outlook remains positive.