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"The decline is a small support for the current difficult economic situation in German industry," says Klaus Wohlrabe, head of ifo surveys. "Existing orders can be processed more quickly and thus support production. The range of the order backlog of the companies surveyed by ifo currently amounts to 4.3 months of production, significantly more than the long-term average of 2.9 months. Declining order intake is therefore not yet having a full impact."

There is a dichotomy in the industry. Many companies in the electrical, mechanical engineering and automotive industries are experiencing even greater problems. There, the proportion of those reporting bottlenecks is still above 50 percent in each case. In particular, there is a shortage of chips and semiconductor products.

In the majority of sectors, however, the proportion of companies with problems with intermediate products is now below 20 percent again. These include the chemical industry (16.9 percent), manufacturers of metal products (15.6) and furniture manufacturers (8.8). Almost free of worries are the companies from the paper industry, where only 2.5 percent reported difficulties.

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