Julian Jessop took to social media after the publication of the latest monthly Business Climate survey by the Munich-based Institute for Economic Research (IFO). The IFO canvasses the views of 9,000 businesses in manufacturing, the service sector, trade and construction, asking them about their current view of the business situation and their expectations for the next six months.
The October index stands at 97.7 points, 1.2 down compared with last month.
Mr Jessop, the former Chief Economist at the Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA) tweeted a graph produced by the IFO which highlighted a dramatic drop in confidence in the probability of economic expansion.
He commented: “Another reminder that Germany is being hit at least as hard (harder?) by global supply problems as #BrexitBritain: Ifo index fell further in October and, at face value, is now signalling #recession…”
The IFO’s report, published today, warned: “Scepticism is increasingly evident in expectations.
“Companies’ assessments of their current situation are also less positive.
“Supply problems are giving businesses headaches.
“Capacity utilisation in manufacturing is falling. Sand in the wheels of the German economy is hampering recovery.”
Clemens Fuest, president of the IFO, added: “In manufacturing, the Business Climate Index fell once again.
He added: “Companies are considerably less optimistic about the coming months.
“However, their assessments of the current business situation are slightly improved.
“In trade, the index fell markedly. Businesses are notably less satisfied with their current situation.
“They are also more pessimistic about the coming months.”
Significantly, Mr Fuest said: “Here, too, supply bottlenecks are weighing on sentiment.
“In construction, the business climate improved further.
“Companies’ assessments of their current situation are a little better.
“Moreover, the expectations index rose for a sixth consecutive time.”
Problems with the supply chain have resulted in gaps on supermarket shelves in recent months, with many blaming Brexit, and specifically a shortage of HGV drivers as a result of no longer being able to recruit from the continent.
Speaking in August, Richard Griffiths, chief executive of the British Poultry Council, insisted: “When you don’t have people, you have a problem – and this is something we are seeing across the whole supply chain.
“The labour crisis is a Brexit issue.”
“The alarming number of gaps only continue to grow due to a government that continually acts against the best interests of British food producers.”