German companies more reticent now to invest - survey

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BERLIN - German companies' appetite to invest is declining despite the need for measures to transition to a greener economy, according to a DIHK Chambers of Industry and Commerce survey published by German daily Handelsblatt.

Only 35 % of industrial companies are planning to invest at the moment compared with 37 % at the start of the year, with the small and mid-sized “Mittelstand” companies (SMEs) particularly reticent. Just 30% of companies with fewer than 200 employees want to invest versus 33% at the start of the year.

Investment in equipment will reach just 90 % of the sum spent in 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic hit, according to the DIHK.

Moreover one out of 10 companies says it is postponing climate protection investments, according to the DIHK.

The three-way coalition that is set to swear in Germany's new government next week hopes to use state development bank KfW and tax writedowns to speed up the green transition. According to DIHK President Peter Adrian though, that is not enough.

"Industrial companies need a lot more incentives to shape the transformation," he was quoted as saying by Handelsblatt.

(Reporting by Birgit Mitwollen; Writing by Sarah Marsh, Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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