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Start-ups in Germany slump sharply - Inflation takes over what the virus failed to do

08/24/2023 | By: FDS

An analysis of commercial register data shows that start-up activity in Germany has plummeted this year after the corona pandemic ended in 2022.

In recent years, Germany has experienced an unprecedented economic roller coaster ride, ranging from the corona pandemic to inflation. But while the pandemic has put many businesses to the test, and even forced some to close, inflation has managed to affect startup activity in the country in a very different way. A detailed analysis of commercial register data over the past five years sheds light on this remarkable trend.

A look at the data

The commercial register data show a significant decrease in the number of company start-ups in Germany since 2022. In particular in the years 2019, 2020 and 2021, the number of start-ups remained relatively stable, with fluctuations being recorded in the various calendar weeks. In 2019, the year started with 2,880 foundations in the 20th calendar week, but reached a low point of 2,354 foundations in the 25th calendar week before it rose again.

The post-pandemic tipping point

However, times changed after the end of the Corona pandemic in 2022. While the economic outlook was initially optimistic, analysis of the data for this year shows a striking void in start-up activity. Only 1,878 and 2,414 start-ups were recorded in calendar weeks 24 and 23, which represents a drastic decline compared to previous years, even if these figures do not include the start-up of associations. Post-pandemic uncertainty, coupled with economic uncertainties and rising inflation, seem to deter potential entrepreneurs.

Inflation as the new stumbling block

While the Corona pandemic has undoubtedly had a significant impact on business activity, it is worth noting that inflation has emerged as a new factor negatively affecting start-up activity in Germany. Inflation can increase the cost of starting a business as commodity, rent and labor prices rise. This could make budding entrepreneurs reluctant to start new businesses as economic uncertainty and rising costs pose a significant risk.

Outlook and challenges

Current data suggests that start-up activities in Germany are facing serious challenges. As the economic landscape continues to be characterized by uncertainty, it will be crucial for governments, business associations and companies alike to devise strategies to encourage entrepreneurship and support budding founders. The effects of inflation on start-up activity illustrate the need for a holistic approach to ensure economic stability and growth in Germany.

Overall, the analysis of the commercial register data makes it clear that start-up activity in Germany is influenced by a variety of factors, from the pandemic to inflation. The coming months and years will show whether and how Germany can overcome these challenges in order to stimulate start-up activities in the country again.

Foundation figures over the years

Year KW 20 KW 21 KW 22 KW 23 KW 24 KW 25 KW 26 KW 27 KW 28 KW 29 KW 30 KW 31 KW 32 KW 33
2019 2880 2746 2148 2708 2157 2354 2793 2785 2801 2770 2714 2770 2596 2692
2020 2697 2069 2625 2121 2237 2807 2840 3048 3034 2735 2954 2861 2682 2809
2021 3458 2744 2857 3467 3286 3266 3334 3181 3278 3068 3219 3046 2939 2992
2022 2344 2299 2708 2414 1878 2345 2372 1993 2138 2111 2431 - - -
2023 1692 1821 1327 1861 1604 1791 2235 1749 1703 1888 1755 1128 2294 819

Foundation figures chart

Data sources: Commercial Register 2019-2021, StartupDetector Newsletter 2022-2023 (excluding associations).

Note: Data missing for week 31-33/2022

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