Press Release
German Chamber of Commerce

German Chamber Flash Survey: Price Pressure Amidst Weak Demand Leading Concern of German Companies in China


The German Chamber of Commerce in China has released its 2024 Flash Survey, which reveals that although German companies operating in China are increasing their turnover expectations, optimism about the Chinese economy returns only slowly. Investment confidence took a setback with just over half of companies wanting to increase investment. “German companies in China are most concerned about price pressure as a result of intense competition, which is magnified by weak demand in China and abroad” says Dr Clas Neumann, Chairperson of the Board of German Chamber of Commerce in East China. He adds: “German companies need policymakers to take action towards establishing a level playing field and providing a transparent regulatory environment in China”.

Key Findings:

  • Optimism in the Chinese economy is slowly returning: 38% expect an improvement in the coming six months, while 16% expect the economy to weaken. 46% of respondents are not anticipating significant changes to China’s economic development in the coming six months compared to the previous six months.
  • Business outlook is recovering at a low level: Just 38% of respondents anticipate a worsening situation for their industry compared to 2023, a significant decrease from 52% when asked the same question last year in September. Meanwhile, 29% expect their industry to improve compared to the previous year – a slight increase of 8 percentage points.
  • Surging turnover, while profits remain stagnant: 39% of companies project their turnover to increase in 2024 compared to last year. When asked the same question last year, only 13 % were expecting increasing turnover. However, only 25% expect profits to increase by the end of 2024.
  • Slim majority plans to keep investing: Only 53% of respondents are planning to increase their investment in China in the coming two years, down from 61% when asked the same question last year. 27% are not planning to invest further while 16% are planning to decrease investment.
  • Price pressure dominates other challenges: Price pressure is cited by 61% of respondents as the biggest challenge they are facing at the moment. Weak demand in the Chinese market was also identified as a significant concern for 51% of respondents, while geopolitical tensions came in third with 37%.
  • Majority observes overcapacities: 75% of German companies see overcapacities in their industry (little: 19%, medium: 36%, substantial: 20%). Nearly all (96%) of these companies state that overcapacities are affecting their business (slightly affected: 44%, strongly affected 49%, very strongly affected 3%). 49% indicate that they started observing overcapacities since last year (this year: 7%, 5 years ago: 35%, 10 years ago: 4%).
  • Fair competitive environment must be a priority: 47% of respondents say that equal treatment of foreign and domestic companies should be addressed by the German government, followed by advocating for a more transparent regulatory environment (29%) and deepening cooperation formats in the area of green transformation (24%).


About the Flash Survey
Between May 21 and 29, 2024, a total of 186 member companies of the German Chamber of Commerce in China responded to the survey. The Flash Survey captures business sentiment among German companies and puts numbers behind current issues such as overcapacities. The results of the Flash Survey are compared with those of the Business Confidence Survey 2023/24, which was conducted between September 5 and October 6, 2023.


Media Contact
Carina Mingle
Head of Media Relations &
Corporate Communications

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