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AHK World Business Outlook Spring 2022

Survey by the Network of German Chambers of Commerce Abroad (AHKs)
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How is the foreign business of German companies doing? The AHKs surveyed their members

© olaser Creative / E+ / Getty Images

The global economy is in crisis mode. The effects of the coronavirus pandemic have not yet been fully overcome; rather, harsh lockdowns in China under the zero-covid policy in the spring are causing exacerbated problems in global supply chains. Added to this is the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the economic consequences of which are clouding the global economy and are also being felt by German companies at their international locations.

Only 21 percent of the more than 4,200 companies surveyed by the AHKs worldwide expect the economy to improve at their respective locations. This is a halving since the last survey (41 percent). By contrast, the share of companies expecting a deterioration in local economic performance has more than doubled from 17 percent to 37 percent. The resulting balance of better and worse assessments has fallen from 24 points in autumn 2021 to the current minus 16 points. The 40-point slump in expectations is thus greater than at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic (at that time, economic expectations plummeted by 36 points from autumn 2019 to spring 2020).

The gloomy economic expectations can be observed globally. However, there are differences between the world regions. In the Eastern and South-Eastern European states, which – after Ukraine – are most directly affected by the consequences of the war, and in China, whose economy is suffering from the pandemic-related lockdowns, the negative economic expectations are most pronounced. In the EU, some of whose states are highly dependent on Russian energy imports, the outlook is also very negative. Only in North America (USA, Canada, Mexico) do more companies currently expect an improvement in economic development than a deterioration.

The complete survey is available here:

AHK World Business Outlook Spring 2022 (PDF, 891 KB)

About the survey

The AHK World Business Outlook is based on a regular DIHK survey of member companies of the German Chambers of Commerce Abroad, Delegations and Representative Offices. It collects feedback from more than 4,200 German companies, branches and subsidiaries worldwide as well as companies with close ties to Germany in spring 2022. The survey was conducted from 25 March to 22 April 2022.

41 percent of the responding companies are from the industry and construction sector, 37 percent from the service sector and another 22 percent are trading companies. Smaller companies with less than 100 employees account for 49 percent of the responses. 23 percent of the companies employ 100 to 1,000 people. Large companies with more than 1,000 employees account for 28 percent of respondents worldwide.


Porträtfoto Carolin Herweg
Carolin Herweg Director fundamental issues of Foreign Trade and Development Policy