Industrial federation says crisis creates credit problems

Industrial federation says crisis creates credit problems
File photo os werner Scnappauf, BDI head. Photo: DPA
The international financial crisis will now make credit conditions tougher for German companies, the head of the national industrial federation BDI said on Tuesday in a press interview.

“It will be harder and more expensive for companies to obtain credit,” Werner Schnappauf told the Financial Times Deutschland. He added that it was certain that the financial crisis would hit the economy in general in the coming months.

The crisis, combined with higher raw material costs and a strong euro in the first half of 2008 would undermine German growth, the BDI forecast, estimating that the crucial export sector would grow by 3.9 percent this year and by 1.9 percent in 2009. German exports, the motor of Europe’s biggest economy, expanded in 2007 by 8.5 percent.

According to a study by the research group Factset that was quoted in the business daily Handelsblatt, the top 30 listed German companies are expected to see their profits drop by an average of 7.5 percent this year, following four years of record profits.

“The state must take action. That is its duty now,” Schnappauf said in defense of repeated interventions by the German government in the past weeks. After agreeing to guarantee a large part of a rescue plan for the mortgage lender Hypo Real Estate, the government also said it would back fully private bank accounts, which contain more than €1.0 trillion ($1.35 trillion).