Schoolchildren who have fled Ukraine have good opportunities in the German school system. The ifo Institute’s evaluation of the 2018 PISA study shows that these children received a sufficient level of education in Ukraine that German educators can build upon. “The skill level of Ukrainian schoolchildren is lower than that of German children, but significantly higher than that of children from EU countries such as Romania and Bulgaria, and numerous children from those countries have already been successfully integrated into the German school system,” says Lukas Mergele, an education expert at the ifo Institute.
The business climate in Germany’s chemical industry deteriorated significantly in the past twelve months. Business expectations fell to a low of minus 44.4 points in July 2022, finds an ifo Institute survey. In the same month the previous year, the figure was plus 11.8 points. The war in Ukraine is further exacerbating the tense situation in the industry. “Natural gas accounts for 44 percent of energy consumption in the chemical industry. It also plays an important role in product manufacturing: around 30 percent of all chemical products require the use of natural gas,” says ifo industry expert Anna Wolf.
A decoupling of the EU and Germany from China, which would result in retaliatory measures from the latter, would cost Germany almost six times as much as Brexit. This is the finding of a scenario analysis conducted by the ifo Institute on behalf of the Bavarian Industry Association (vbw). “De-globalization makes us poorer. Rather than turning away from important trading partners without good reason, companies should additionally source inputs from other countries in order to reduce one-sided and critical dependencies on certain markets and authoritarian regimes,” says Lisandra Flach, coauthor of the study.
Business Climate in Germany Falls to a Record Low for Solo Self-Employed Persons and Microenterprises
The business climate for microenterprises and solo self-employed persons in Germany is markedly worse, according to the latest index for this segment (“Jimdo-ifo Business Climate Index”). It plunged to minus 12.1 points (not seasonally adjusted) in July, down from minus 1.1 points in June. “Solo self-employed persons cannot escape the negative pull of the overall economy,” says Klaus Wohlrabe, Head of Surveys at ifo. “Pessimism is increasingly making inroads here as well.”
The business situation for German automakers deteriorated in July, with the indicator falling to 20.5 points, down from 22.4 points in June. This is the result of the latest ifo survey. “Car manufacturers appear to have run out of options for passing on rising material costs to consumers,” says Oliver Falck, Director of the ifo Center for Industrial Organization and New Technologies. Price expectations plummeted to 38.6 points, down from 73.1 points in June.
The shortage of skilled workers has risen to a new high in Germany, affecting 49.7 percent of companies in July. This finding is based on data collected in conjunction with the ifo Business Survey since 2009. The new level is much higher than the previous record of 43.6 percent, which was set in April.