Interview on the current situation of German companies and how they should position themselves now – with Christian Säuberlich, Spokesman of the Board of Management of the consultancy FTI-Andersch (April 2022).
War in Ukraine, cyber attacks, new lockdowns in China, inflation – 2022 is off to a difficult start.
What do the current developments mean for German companies?
Christian Säuberlich: Foreign trade with Russia, Belarus and Ukraine seems comparatively small, with a total import share of 3.1 per cent. But it is mainly energy and raw materials. That is why almost the entire German economy is affected. The war is leading to new supply chain problems, and the current lockdowns in China threaten to exacerbate this. These problems have caused producer prices to skyrocket dramatically. After the long months of the pandemic, many companies are once again finding themselves in situations that threaten their existence.
Which sectors in Germany are particularly affected?
Christian Säuberlich: Above all sectors with high energy intensity – i.e. heavy industry, mechanical engineering and chemicals. Car manufacturers are short of cable harnesses from Ukraine and production lines are at a standstill. There is a shortage of staff in transport logistics, around seven percent of lorry drivers are Ukrainian. In meat and food production, there is also a drastic increase in costs due to a lack of supplies such as wheat and fertiliser. Manufacturers of consumer goods that are not absolutely necessary will also have problems in the medium term, especially if inflation increases even more and people's ability to consume decreases as a result. In addition, there will be increased staff shortages, for example in the logistics sector. 2022 will be a very challenging year.
You can find the rest of the interview on the Handelsblatt Restructuring Conference blog at: