German American Business Outlook 2017
The German American Business Outlook (GABO) measures the satisfaction of German companies with the United States as an investment location and takes on a different topical angle each year.
For the seventh consecutive year, the German American Chambers of Commerce (GACCs), in cooperation with the Representative of German Industry and Trade (RGIT) and Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, will survey over 1,900 German subsidiaries in the United States to assess their economic outlook.
German Companies Continue to Grow, Hire and Invest
- 98% of German companies do not expect any decrease in their US business, and 99% want to maintain or increase their strategic focus on the US.
- Customer demand for goods and services (87%) along with customer access (57%) are the prime reasons for future investment in the US.
- 87% of German companies reported the same or much better sales volumes in 2015, continuing their recovery from the economic slowdown.
Most Important Strategic Initiatives
- 35% of German companies plan to invest in IT and Big Data.
- 17% of German companies plan to grow via Mergers & Acquisitions - up 50% from the previous year.
Skilled labor remains the key need for companies looking for growth in the US market. The GACCs are driving forward several initiatives to combat the skills gap and implement training programs in cooperation with companies, partner organizations, and educational institutions.
- 85% of German companies plan to increase their workforce in 2017, up from 75% last year. Small companies are the most optimistic about growing their workforce.
- 69% of German companies report difficulties identifying employees with adequate skills. Positions in engineering and manufacturing are most difficult to fill.
Priorities for the New Administration
- Comprehensive tax reform (60%)
- Free trade agreements (58%)
- Incentives for investment (55%)
- Investment in apprenticeships (52%) and infrastructure (52%).