The digital industry in germany is on course for growth. "We are in the longest growth phase since the federal republic of germany was founded," said achim berg, president of the digital association bitkom, in berlin.
According to the association's forecasts, the market for IT products, telecommunications and consumer electronics will grow by 1.5 percent this year to 168.5 billion euros – "despite trade conflicts and brexit". According to the report, sales rose by 2 percent in 2018 to 166 billion euros.
It is expected that by the end of the year, around 1.2 million people will be employed in the industry. That would be a plus of 40.000 jobs and an increase of 3.5 percent compared to the previous year. According to bitkom calculations, the ICT sector had 36 percent growth in 2018.000 new jobs created.
Digitization is a powerful job engine and a guarantee for more jobs, said berg. Above all, the areas of software and IT services are the engines of growth, with by far the most jobs being created here.
"But the shortage of skilled workers is preventing further increases," said berg. Accordingly, at the end of 2018, according to bitkom calculations, a total of 82.000 vacancies for IT experts. Among other things, the association is campaigning for digital skills and media competence to be more firmly anchored as a topic in education and training and in schools.
"More and better digital education is the key to success," said berg. The industry in any case offers in part very good salaries. Better pay alone, in order to keep skilled workers in the country, would not solve the problem.
According to bitkom estimates, the strongest growth was again in information technology, where an increase of 2.5 percent to 92.2 billion euros is expected. The software segment alone is expected to grow by 6.3 percent to 26 billion euros, while the hardware business is expected to decline slightly by 0.7 percent to 25.4 billion euros.
IT services market up 2.3 percent to 40.8 percent. Consumer electronics, however, is in the red for the second year in a row and is expected to shrink by 5 percent to 9 billion euros in 2019. Although the average price of equipment rose in many areas, this could not compensate for the drop in sales, said Berg.