Mood of the German Micro- and Nanotechnology Industry Significantly Brightens
(Nanowerk News) For the German companies dealing with microtechnology, nanotechnology, advanced materials and optical technologies, business in 2013 has developed just as the industry had predicted earlier that year: at a constant level. But things are supposed to get better in 2014. The companies do not expect an enormous growth, but they are more positive than they have been ever since the outbreak of the financial and economic crisis. Orders, production and sales figures are expected to rise noticeably in 2014. Areas excluded from an optimistic outlook are staff and financing: the numbers of employees is likely to remain static in 2014 while the funding situation might even reach a new low.
The situation and mood of the micro- and nanotechnology industry, which the IVAM Microtechnology Network queried in a recent economic data survey, coincides with the overall economic development in Germany and general forecasts for 2014. According to publications of the German Federal Statistical Office, the gross domestic product in Germany has grown by only 0.4 percent in 2013 – the lowest growth since the crisis year 2009. For 2014, the Ifo Institute predicts a strong growth for the German economy. Especially exports are expected to increase.
There is still a risk that recent global economic developments and political conflicts might put a damper on the forecast upswing. For instance, the instability of currency rates in some major emerging markets and the unstable economic situation in the USA are uncertainty factors. In case the Crimean crisis tightens and Western States impose sanctions on Russia – one of the EU's major suppliers of natural gas and oil – a resulting shortage of gas supplies and higher energy prices might slow down the economic development. But at the moment, economists do not actually expect this to put a noticeable strain on the European or world economy.