After a solid first half of the year, uncertainty is increasing in wholesale in Germany. "We wholesalers are looking forward to autumn and winter with concern," said the President of the Federal Association of Wholesale, Foreign Trade and Services (BGA), Dirk Jandura, in a video conference on Wednesday. "Concerns about energy supply and energy prices are clear. Three out of four companies are pushing rising prices."
The BGA expects that wholesale sales will increase nominally - i.e. not adjusted for inflation - by around 15 percent to the record value of 1.7 trillion euros this year due to sharply rising prices. "But in real terms, and this is the most important value, we expect the economy to slow down and thus tend towards zero, if not even below," said Jandura.
BGA entrepreneur survey
Companies are currently wishing for "a bolder state," said Jandura. "They see an urgent need for action in the short term to reduce taxes and duties. This is the opinion of almost every second respondent." So that relief does not fizzle out without effect, "the framework conditions must be improved permanently and in the long term to contain increased prices and supply bottlenecks".
According to calculations by the Federal Statistical Office, the prices for goods imported into Germany were 28.9 percent higher in July than in the same month last year. Although the increase in import prices weakened slightly for the third month in a row, inflation remains comparatively high. Above all, energy prices continue to rise sharply. Imported energy was almost 132 percent more expensive in July than a year earlier. The main reason is significantly higher gas prices, which are more than three times as high as a year ago. Electricity costs almost four times as much.
Lower government taxes required for companies
Among other things, a secure and affordable energy supply and relief for companies from state taxes are required, the BGA demanded. "What we don't need are new burdens or even tax increases," stressed Jandura. "I think the debate about an excess profit tax is absurd." The traffic light coalition is discussing such a tax for companies with high profits due to the crisis, but the FDP rejects it.