Rödl & Partner publishes spring results of its World Market Leader Index Germany

  • Business climate plummets
  • USA is hardly considered to have any more potential
  • Good marks for German economic and financial policy

Nuremberg, 20 May 2020: According to the spring 2020 survey of the Rödl & Partner World Market Leader Index Germany, the general business climate in Germany is plummeting: the current index value reached only 35.9 (= between “bad” and “very bad”). In autumn 2019 the value was 48.5 (= worse than “acceptable”); in spring 2019 it stood at 59.2 (= close to “good”).


On a scale of 0 (“it couldn’t get any worse”) to 100 (“it couldn’t get any better”), 77 percent of companies now rate the situation between “bad” and “it couldn’t get any worse”. In the spring of 2019, the reported figure was 3.2 percent. Together with the University of St.Gallen in Switzerland, Rödl & Partner surveyed the German world market leaders for the fifth time.


62 percent currently rate their own international business activities as “weak” to “very weak” (spring 2019: 9.4 percent). Nevertheless, 27.9 percent (spring 2019: 60.9 percent) answered with “stable” and better.


Noteworthy international growth potential is seen virtually nowhere, even though Asia maintains its leading position with 55.7 percent, compared to 60.9 percent a year ago. The USA, on the other hand, is losing a massive amount of ground: 6.6 percent of mentions, compared with 21.9 percent in spring 2019.


At around 59 percent – virtually unchanged – the world market leaders indicate that they are suffering from specific trade barriers. The USA is referred to most frequently, but Italy is also named. There was a significant increase in the proportion of those who answered “yes, very” (27.9 percent after 10.9 percent in spring 2019). 18 percent (previously 10.9 percent) do not feel affected by the obstacles.


The federal government’s economic and financial policy receives very positive ratings. “Satisfactory” and better say 71 percent of the world market leaders (autumn 2019: 42.6 percent), with “good” and “very good” accounting for 40.3 percent (spring 2019: 21.9 percent). 11.3 percent characterise economic and financial policy as “insufficient” and 0 percent as “unsatisfactory”. In the spring of 2019, the two together stood at 12.5 percent.


Centrifugal forces

“It is becoming unmistakably apparent that the polarisation in competition is taking on more and more striking features. While the vast majority of companies are making rather gloomy forecasts, voices are increasingly being heard that see the pandemic as an opportunity to gain market share. This is particularly true in the B2B sector and is also due to the fact that the German economy is given comparatively good chances to quickly regain ground thanks to the agile Mittelstand”, explains Prof. Dr. Christian Rödl, Chairman of the Management Board of Rödl & Partner.


About the World Market Leader Index

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


The criteria are: the headquarters must be located in Germany, the company must be active on at least 3 of 6 continents, the annual turnover must be at least 50 million euros, the export share/foreign turnover must account for at least 50 percent of the total and the company must have the market position (in turnover) 1 or 2 worldwide in the relevant market segment. The identified  world market leaders must also meet objectively and transparently verifiable criteria. 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 to identify opportunities and threats to the “engine of the German economy” at an early stage.


The Rödl & Partner World Market Leader Index Germany is based on the World Market Leader Index for the DACH region of the University of St.Gallen. The main initiator of this index was the Würth Group.
The scientific management of the project is carried out by Prof. Dr. Christoph Müller of the HBM Unternehmerschule, which is part of the Executive School of Management, Technology & Law of the University of St. Gallen.


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Thorsten Widow

Head of Corporate Communications

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Petar Grujicic-Hauck

Deputy Head of Corporate Communications

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