German trades experience 2011 boom | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 12.03.2012
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German trades experience 2011 boom

German trades posted solid revenues last year not seen since the early 1990s when order books were full due to the country's post-reunification economic boom. The number of workers employed in the sector increased, too.

German tradesmen last year managed to boost their revenues by 7.1 percent year-on-year, the Federal Statistics Office (Destatis) reported on Monday.

In 2010, the turnover rose by only 0.6 percent, compared with the levels reached in the previous year when the global financial crisis was at its peak.

An increase of the size booked last year was last experienced in the years following German reunification in 1990.

Full order books in 2011 also led to a 0.6-percent increase of workers employed in the various trades.

A closer look at employment figures reveals, though, that more jobs were only created in industry-related trades hiring precision machinists, mechanical engineers, IT specialists and others.

Construction trades going strong

By contrast, the number of tradesmen contracted for work by private households dipped 2.8 percent in 2011.

The main constructions trades made a substantial contribution toward soaring revenues last year, the Central Association of German Trades (ZDH) said in a statement.

Order books in the sector were well-filled throughout last year because of a pickup in domestic demand and the mild weather toward the end of 2011, which meant that construction work continued longer than usual.

Unfazed by the ongoing eurozone debt crisis, German tradesmen expect their revenues to rise even further in the current year. They forecast the overall turnover to go up by another 1.5 to two percent.

hg/gb (dpa, AFP)