More than half of German firms hit by coronavirus impact

A man enters the special infection centre at the University Hospital in Duesseldorf. (AP pic)

BERLIN: Some 56% of German companies are suffering negative effects from the coronavirus epidemic, Munich’s Ifo institute said on Thursday, with the tourism and hospitality sectors hit hardest.

Fears of recession in Europe’s biggest economy have grown since the outbreak of the coronavirus and the government has warned that export-oriented industries will suffer from disruptions to supply chains.

Some 63% of companies in the manufacturing sector said they were negatively affected, with most citing cancelled or postponed business trips as the main factor. About half cited problems with raw materials or parts.

About half of companies in the service sector also said they were hit, mainly due to a decline in demand and the cancellation of bookings, trade fairs and conferences.

Almost 96% of firms in the tourism sector and 79% of those in the hospitality sector were hit.

Some 63% of firms in the trade sector are suffering, Ifo said, chiefly due to supply delays and lower demand.

Ifo surveyed almost 3,400 firms.

Germany has reported 1,567 cases of the virus and three deaths.