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Business Leaders Outlook

2023 Business Leaders Outlook: Germany

Our survey shows optimism about the economy has dipped amid rising energy costs—but leaders remain confident in their own companies.

Business leaders across Germany are less optimistic about the economy than they were a year ago, according to our 2023 Business Leaders Outlook survey. Just over half (53%) have a positive outlook about the national economy today; last year, more than three-fifths (62%) were optimistic.

Optimism around the global economy has fallen as well—to 56% from 64% last year. Notably, 59% of business leaders in Germany said they expect a recession in 2023. Compared with other countries surveyed at the same time, German leaders are less worried about a recession than their counterparts in the United Kingdom (69%), the United States (65%) and India (61%), but more concerned than leaders in France (53%) and Australia (46%).

Rising costs in general—and energy prices in particular—continue to weigh on German businesses. More than three-fourths of the companies experiencing inflation said energy prices are their biggest challenge; next in line are the increased costs of raw materials (63%) and supply chain issues (55%).

Despite the inflationary challenges, most leaders are still confident in their own companies. More than eight in 10 (83%) expect their revenues to increase or remain the same in 2023. 


Top takeaways


Pie chart showing 59%

Recession concerns

Nearly three-fifths of German business leaders believe a recession is likely in 2023.

Two horizontal bar charts showing 56% in 2023 and 64% in 2022

Views on economy

Leaders are less optimistic about the global economy than they were last year.

Number showing 77%

Workforce outlook

Despite their concerns about the economy, most leaders expect to add or keep staff.


Double ring pie chart showing 85% and 15%

Capital expenditures

Most businesses (85%) expect capital spending to grow or stay the same; only 15% believe it will drop.

Pie chart showing 57%

Supply chain 

More than half of leaders say supply chain pressures are worse than they were a year ago.

Two horizontal bar charts showing 59% in 2023 and 73% in 2022

Profit snapshot

While most leaders believe profits will rise, it’s a sharp decline from last year’s expectations.



Our experts

Stefan Povaly

Stefan Povaly
Head of Germany, Senior Country Officer
J.P. Morgan

Bernhard Brinker

Bernhard Brinker
Head of Commercial Banking, DACH Region
J.P. Morgan

Viktoria Boecker

Viktoria Boecker
Head of Commercial Banking Treasury Management, DACH Region
J.P. Morgan

Michele Iozzolino

Michele Iozzolino
Head of Investment Banking, Germany
J.P. Morgan

Alexander Voigt

Alexander Voigt
Head of Corporate Debt Capital Markets, DACH Region
J.P. Morgan

Håkan Strängh

Håkan Strängh
Head of Private Bank, Germany
J.P. Morgan




Economic outlook and expectations

Most German business leaders are optimistic about the global, national and local economies. But they’re even more optimistic about their own industries and companies.

A downward shift

Optimism has weakened over the past 12 months. A year ago, three-fifths of German business leaders were optimistic about the national economy. Today, just over half hold a positive outlook.

Bullish on their own businesses

The vast majority of businesses (83%) expect their revenues to grow or hold steady in 2023. A similar amount (85%) expect their capital expenditures to increase or remain the same.


Business challenges

German business leaders face many challenges today. Among them: persistent inflation, high energy prices, snarled supply chains and a shortage of available workers.


Social responsibility


Business transitions and growth plans


About the survey

Started in 2021, the J.P. Morgan Business Leaders Outlook: Germany survey is a snapshot capturing the concerns and expectations of senior business leaders whose companies have annual revenues between €20 million and €2 billion.

This year, 254 respondents completed the online survey between 21 November and 8 December, 2022. Results are within statistical parameters for validity; the error rate is plus or minus 6.2% at the 95% confidence interval.

Company by industry

Healthcare: 12%; higher education: 3%; home services: 6%; industrials: 9%; manufacturing: 20%; nonprofit: 1%; oil and gas: 4%; other professional/non-finance: 2%; real estate: 1%; restaurants/food services: 1%; technology: 14%; transportation/logistics: 7%; wholesale/retail: 15%; other: 5%

Note: Some numbers may not equal 100% due to rounding.

© 2023 JPMorgan Chase & Co. All rights reserved. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. Member FDIC. Visit jpmorgan.com/cb-disclaimer for disclosures and disclaimers related to this content.

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