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February 20, 2024
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Two large German industrial sectors have experienced significant losses in domestic production during the last few years: the automotive and the chemical industries. In the automotive industry, production level in Q4 2023 was 21% below the former peak reached in autumn 2017. Chemical output in Germany was 27% lower than at its the former peak. Compared to the significant drop in domestic production, employment in both sectors has remained quite stable during the last few years. The number of employees in the automotive industry declined moderately between 2018 und 2022 but has stabilised since. Employment in the chemical industry was even only 2% below its peak at the latest reading. In our view, production volumes in both sectors are unlikely to return to former peaks. Thus, we expect employment in these sectors to decline before long, as an adaptation to lower production volumes and probably also as a result of more automatisation and efficiency gains. [more]
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