According to the IT industry association Bitkom, the German market for IT, telecommunications and consumer electronics (ITK) remains on a growth course. The volume grew by 3.9 percent to 178.4 billion euros, which was mainly due to the good business with IT hardware and software. For the current year, the industry association promises its clientele an increase of 3.6 percent to 184.9 billion euros.
As expected, it is primarily the market for information technology that is driving the growth. As in the previous year, this should grow well above average and further expand its importance as the largest sector. If sales exceeded the 100 billion euro mark for the first time in 2021, Bitkom calculations an increase of 5.9 percent lifted the volume this year to 108.6 billion euros.
Fast growing software business
Once again, the software business is expected to grow the fastest, driven by the cloud trend: 9 percent growth is expected to lead to sales of 32.4 billion euros. Revenues from IT hardware should also increase significantly: Bitkom expects an increase of 5.7 percent to 33.2 billion euros. The IT services business, which includes IT consulting, is expected to grow by 3.9 percent to EUR 43.0 billion.
Bitkom is forecasting a moderate increase of 0.9 percent to EUR 67.3 billion for the telecommunications market. According to estimates, 49.2 billion euros (+1.7 percent) will be turned over with TC services this year. In the business with end devices – primarily smartphones – the providers have to adjust to a decline for the first time in years: the market is expected to shrink by 3.1 percent to 1.2 billion euros. On the other hand, investments in telecommunications infrastructure are increasing significantly thanks to the expansion of 5G and fiber optic networks. They are expected to increase by 2.2 percent to 6.9 billion euros in 2022.
In the consumer electronics market, however, the negative trend is continuing. The special Corona effect in 2020, which led to a temporary increase of 6.3 percent to 9.3 billion euros in sales, was apparently of a temporary nature: after a minus of 1.6 percent in 2021, sales in the smallest ITC sub-market expected to shrink by 2.3 percent to 9.0 billion euros this year.
The digital index maintained by the association together with the ifo is at a similarly high level as before the outbreak of the pandemic at the beginning of 2020. In December 2021 it was 24.0 points and was therefore 17 points above the ifo index for the business climate as usual the overall economy. However, the current development of the indices shows that the extremely optimistic expectations from July 2021 were dampened in view of the flare-up of the pandemic, supply bottlenecks and inflation.