Berlin, April 11, 2019 - US companies in Germany and German companies in the US look back on a good business year in 2018. Nevertheless, the attractiveness of both markets cannot be taken for granted. In Germany, high energy and labor costs as well as the quality of digital infrastructure remain a serious problem. Even though 81 percent of US companies rate Germany as good or very good in terms of doing business, nearly one-quarter expects that investment conditions will worsen over the next three to four years. Those are the key findings of the Transatlantic Business Barometer 2019, which will be released today by the American Chamber of Commerce in Germany (AmCham Germany) together with Roland Berger.
Tensions in transatlantic trade and the tariff policies of the US Administration are causing a great deal of uncertainty for Germany companies located in the US. Although German companies anticipate an increase in sales and investments in the US this year, the low reliability of US politics is putting a damper on overall expectations: Only 8 percent of companies rate this locational factor as positive. Because of this, 37 percent of German companies believe that business conditions in the US will worsen over the next three to four years.
"The results show that we don't just need the right policies at the national level in order to keep Germany and the US attractive places for doing business," Frank Sportolari, President of AmCham Germany, says. "Rather, we have to commit to dialogue and transatlantic cooperation in order to counteract protectionist policies. The transatlantic relationship should be one of the guideposts to any business decisions that Germany makes."
A total of 39 US companies with locations and revenue of almost €34 billion in Germany as well as 45 German companies with locations and revenue of just under €35 billion in the US participated in the survey. The results will be officially presented today by AmCham Germany President Frank Sportolari at the Allianz Forum in Berlin.
In addition to the Transatlantic Business Barometer, the results of a membership survey about the German government's Industriestrategie (industrial strategy) will be released. The majority of the 239 company representatives who participated view the strategy positively, and only 22 percent anticipate a negative or very negative impact. However, for 86 percent of respondents, it is important that the German government commit to transatlantic cooperation. In particular, respondents call for the modernization of education, infrastructure and administration (61 percent), the creation of a dynamic environment for innovation (58 percent) and for the opportunities of digital transformation to be utilized (49 percent).
Abou the study
The AmCham Germany Transatlantic Business Barometer is an exclusive survey among US investors in Germany and German investors in the US. It provides a well-founded analysis of investment sentiment as well as a business assessment of both countries.
For 15 years, US companies have been surveyed as part of the AmCham Germany Business Barometer. Since 2017, German companies in the US are also surveyed. A total of 39 US companies with locations and revenue of almost €34 billion in Germany as well as 45 German companies with locations and revenue of just under €35 billion in the US participated in this year's AmCham Germany Transatlantic Business Barometer. The survey was conducted in February 2019.