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    HomeBusinessAlmost every second self-employed person complains about a lack of orders

    Almost every second self-employed person complains about a lack of orders

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    “Cause for concern”
    Almost every second self-employed person complains about a lack of orders

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    High costs, a weak economy and inflation: the economic environment is putting increasing pressure on the self-employed. According to a survey by the IFO Institute, almost half are affected by a lack of orders. They are pessimistic about the coming financial year.

    Almost every second self-employed person complains about a lack of orders. 47.9 percent reported this in January, compared to 45.3 percent in October, according to the Munich-based IFO Institute's quarterly survey. “The backlog of orders among the self-employed is literally melting away,” said IFO expert Katrin Demmelhuber. “The associated decline in sales is cause for concern.”

    Accordingly, the mood among the self-employed has deteriorated noticeably at the beginning of the year. In particular, they assessed their current situation as worse than in the autumn. Their expectations for the coming six months remained very pessimistic. As a result, the business climate index fell to minus 22.6 points in January, after minus 17.5 in December. “The general economic environment is increasingly unsettling the self-employed,” said Demmelhuber, summarizing the results of the survey.

    Europe's largest economy shrank by 0.3 percent last year. According to the draft of the federal government's annual economic report, growth in 2024 will probably only be a mini-plus of 0.2 percent. The situation is “dramatically bad,” admitted Economics Minister Robert Habeck. Expensive energy, high interest rates, a sluggish global economy and persistent inflation are currently putting a strain on many companies.

    The IFO Institute has been calculating the business climate index for the self-employed since August 2021. This includes both solo self-employed people and micro-enterprises with fewer than nine employees. Although all sectors are covered, the focus is on service providers. The barometer is based on a collaboration with Jimdo, a provider of online tools specifically for solo self-employed people and small businesses. The Association of Founders and Self-Employed People in Germany is also helping to attract new participants.

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