Business Leaders Outlook Germany

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. 

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.

Economic outlook for 2023

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.

National economy optimism

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 expectations

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.

Top ways companies are adapting to inflation*
What’s driving up the cost of doing business*
Top responses to the labour shortage*
Top external business threats
66% are considering investing in renewable sources of energy as a result of rising energy prices*
Cyberattacks experienced in last 6 months

Social responsibility

Top areas of focus within corporate responsibility
Top objectives motivating corporate responsibility*

Business transitions and growth plans

Plans for business transfer
Timeline to transfer business*
Growth strategies for the next 12 months

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.

Who took the survey
Company size by number of employees
Company size by annual revenue

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.


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

Stefan Povaly

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

Michele Iozzolino, Head of Investment Banking, Germany

Michele Iozzolino

Head of Investment Banking, Germany J.P. Morgan

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

Bernhard Brinker

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

Alexander Voigt, Head of Corporate Debt Capital Markets, DACH Region

Alexander Voigt

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

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

Viktoria Boecker

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

Håkan Strängh, Head of Private Bank, Germany

Håkan Strängh

Head of Private Bank, Germany J.P. Morgan

JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. Member FDIC. Visit for disclosures and disclaimers related to this content.