BERLIN (Reuters) – German companies’ willingness to hire new staff took a hit in September, data from the Ifo Institute showed on Wednesday, underlining recession fears in Europe’s largest economy.
The metric fell to 95.8 points from 97.0 points in August – its lowest point since February 2021 – due to a lack of orders, with the trade, construction and services sectors also losing traction, Ifo said in a statement.
“The robust expansion of employment seen over the past few months has come to a standstill,” said Ifo head of surveys Klaus Wohlrabe. “Companies’ willingness to hire new staff will presumably rise again once the economy recovers.”
The German economy is seen as at risk of sliding into its second recession in a year after shrinking in the last quarter of 2022 and the first quarter of 2023.
Ifo also pointed to demographic changes, saying that Germany’s ageing society would deprive the labour market of more and more workers in the medium term.