German wholesales growth to halve in 2023 - trade association BGA

Containers are seen at a terminal in the port of Hamburg
Containers are seen at a terminal in the port of Hamburg, Germany November 14, 2019. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer/File Photo

BERLIN, Jan 26 (Reuters) - German wholesalers can expect sales growth to halve in 2023 after a jump last year fuelled by rising prices, the BGA wholesale and foreign trade association said in a survey on Thursday.

In 2022 revenues rose 16% to 1.74 trillion euros ($1.9 trillion), according to the BGA's estimates. But this increase was mainly due to rising prices, the association said. When price-adjusted, the increase was 0.8%.

For 2023, the BGA forecasts a sharp slowdown in sales growth to 8% year-on-year, or total sales of 1.9 trillion euros. Adjusted for inflation however, this would be an increase of about 1%.

According to the survey, 4% of wholesale companies surveyed see their existence threatened by the rise in energy and electricity costs, while 40% have been strongly impacted by rising costs which they said they could nevertheless cope with.

"Our entrepreneurs are massively burdened by energy costs, taxes and duties," said Dirk Jandura, president of the BGA. The association expects cost pressures will ease.

Global supply chains have experienced disruption. "As a result, companies are replenishing their inventories and stockpiling large quantities to reliably meet customers' demand," Jandura said. According to the survey, 78% of companies are taking this approach, while 46% are diversifying their suppliers.

Sentiment among German exporters in January was at its highest point in nearly a year, climbing for the fourth consecutive month as the start of the year brings hope for new momentum, according to a separate survey by the Ifo economic institute published on Thursday.

($1 = 0.9177 euros)

Reporting by Rene Wagner and Christian Kraemer; Writing by Maria Martinez; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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