In the skilled trades, many companies are in a difficult situation. Reasons are increased financing costs and high material costs as well as the persistently high inflation and loss of purchasing power, as can be seen from a company survey by the Central Association of German Crafts (ZDH). The usual spring revival in the skilled trades threatens to largely fail to materialize.

For the first half of the year, a large majority of the craft businesses expect a decline or, at best, stagnation in operational sales. The demand for many craft products and services has decreased, said ZDH President Jörg Dittrich of the German Press Agency. “As a result, the business situation in the skilled trades is currently weakening further.”

The acute threat of crisis in the companies does not change the long-term positive prospects for the trades and their employees. “The difficulties they are struggling with are largely due to external factors and are encountering inherently healthy farms, many of which are systemically relevant and important for the future.”

Politicians have a duty to ensure conditions that are significantly more investment-friendly. This is the only way that trades can make their indispensable contribution to the transformation and modernization processes, according to Dittrich, with a view to energy renovations in buildings, for example. “In particular, immediate write-offs on investments, but also targeted investment bonuses or special write-offs on investments in the areas of digitization and climate protection, see the companies as investment-promoting.”