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Rödl & Partner publishes spring results of its World Market Leader Index Germany / Business climate continues to cool / Opportunities in Asia


Nuremberg, 25 April 2019: According to the spring survey findings of the Rödl & Partner World Market Leader Index Germany, the general business climate in Germany has cooled noticeably in the past 12 months: the current index value of 59.21 (= "good") illustrates the marked decline compared to spring 2018 (68.46 = close to "very good"). On a scale of 0 ("it doesn't get any worse" to 100 "it doesn't get any better"), only around 20 percent of companies now rate the current situation as "very good". In the autumn of 2018, the climate index value was 62.86. Together with the University of St.Gallen, Rödl & Partner surveyed the approximately 500 German world market leaders for the third time.


As far as the outlook for their own international business activities is concerned, just under 30 percent currently feel well (or very well) positioned (spring 2018: a good 64 percent). The largest growth potential, 65.6 percent, is still seen undisputedly in Asia. Cross-border trade barriers are already clearly noticeable by German world market leaders (59.4 percent). In autumn 2018, the figure was 38.1 percent. Trade with the USA is again particularly affected, followed by China and Russia, which are far behind. Great Britain (Brexit) follows in fifth place.


With regard to the German government’s economic and financial policy, the evaluation has also hardly changed compared to spring 2018. Just under 66 percent of companies rate it as satisfactory or even good. Compared to last autumn's survey, however, some progress has been made – the proportion of very dissatisfied companies was even higher at the time. In this respect, a slight improvement can be seen in this point.

Not worrying, but perceptible

"Signs of a slowdown among German world market leaders cannot be overlooked. Although the performance of the index does not yet give cause for hectic concern, the negative trend reflects the increasing deterioration of the business climate," explains Prof. Dr. Christian Rödl, Chairman of the Management Board of Rödl & Partner. Irrespective of this, the Mittelstand shaped world market leaders continue to be a pillar of strength. "As the backbone of the German economy, they unwaveringly stand for reliability," emphasizes Rödl.


About the World Market Leader Index

Since spring 2018, German world market leaders – whether publicly listed or not – have been surveyed anonymously every six months for their assessment of current economic and financial policy developments.


The criteria are as follows: the headquarters must be located in Germany, the companies must be active on at least 3 of 6 continents, the annual turnover must amount to at least 50 million euros, the export share/international turnover must account for at least 50 percent of the turnover and the company must hold the worldwide market position (in turnover) 1 or 2 in the relevant market segment. The identified world market leaders must also meet criteria that can be verified objectively and transparently. Rödl & Partner and the University of St.Gallen are committed to these strict standards.


The aim of the Rödl & Partner World Market Leader Index is to measure the pulse of the world market leaders and thus identify early opportunities and threats for the "engine of the German economy".


The Rödl & Partner World Market Leader Index is based on the World Market Leader Index for the DACH region (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) of the University of St.Gallen. The main initiator of this index was the Würth Group.


The scientific direction of the project lies with Prof. Dr. Christoph Müller from the HBM Unternehmerschule, which is part of the Executive School of Management, Technology & Law of the University of St.Gallen.



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