The Corona pandemic has the German economy firmly in its grip. Many companies were at least temporarily closed or had to remain closed in April. It was foreseeable that this would not be without consequences for the mood of the companies. The business climate index fell from 85.9 points in March to just 74.3 points. For comparison: the lowest level during the financial market crisis was 79.9 points!
All-time lows in the business climate were also reported by companies in the manufacturing, wholesale, retail and service sectors. Only the main construction industry can escape this trend somewhat. However, even here expectations have fallen to a historic low. However, a clear majority of construction companies still assess their current business situation positively, in contrast to all other sectors.
By contrast, the slump in the business climate in the retail clothing and footwear sector is really dramatic. Nearly all companies in this sector assess both their expectations and their current business situation as negative. Accordingly, the overall index for April is at -98.1 points, with a theoretically possible -100 points. At the beginning of the year the level was still at -2.1 points. Business closures threaten the survival of many of these stores. The fact that smaller shops are now allowed to reopen is therefore vital for them.
This month only the DIY stores and the producers of rubber goods have resisted the general downward trend. The DIY stores, which have now reopened nationwide, are benefiting from the increased desire to renovate and the start of the gardening season. Among the producers of rubber goods, the demand for protective clothing, disposable gloves and rubbers for protective masks is the main driver.