November 19, 2020
Roland Berger asked 500 restructuring experts from Germany, Austria and Switzerland to provide a forecast for the coming year and condensed the results in the "2020 Restructuring Study". The conclusion was: Hardly any experts still expect a v-shaped recovery of the economy. On the contrary, an overwhelming majority of 86 percent of those surveyed expect a significant increase in the need for restructuring in the coming year.
The experts agree that the second wave and the renewed lockdown are destroying hopes of an upswing in the near future. Many experts even expect stagnation to last several years. The respondents are still a little more optimistic about the situation in Germany than in the rest of Europe, where the majority expect the upswing to continue a year later.
Uncertainty about the consequences of Covid-19
Uncertainty regarding the consequences of a pandemic will continue to be the greatest threat to the economy in the future, according to the restructuring experts surveyed: 31% of the experts see the consequences of coronavirus as the number one risk. Geopolitical risks such as global trade wars (26%) or Brexit (13%), which dominated public discussion in the months before the coronavirus crisis, are thus losing weight.
The crisis has hit tourism particularly hard. Airlines and travel providers are facing an unprecedented slump in sales. Almost one in three experts sees a strong need for restructuring in this industry in the coming year. The economic outlook for the automotive industry is only slightly better. The key German industry – already under pressure due to the consequences of technological change – will have to contend with immense problems in the coming year. 28 percent of the experts see a great need for restructuring in this industry.
Government support is an effective tool for the economy
The majority of experts view government support positively. In particular, the unbureaucratic granting of short-term work benefits is well-received by the business community. Around 90 percent of the surveyed experts agree that the expansion and easing of short-term work benefits will have a strong or very strong effect. Almost 70 percent of the experts surveyed also consider KfW loans to be useful.
Politicians are now taking additional steps to support businesses. For example, a law on the stabilization and restructuring framework (Corporate Stabilization and Restructuring Act, StaRUG) is scheduled to come into force on January 1, 2021. These regulations follow on from the suspension of duty to file for insolvency under the Covid-19 Insolvency Suspension Act. However, almost 70% of the experts expect the procedure to become more complicated. At this point, restructuring experts are once again called upon to provide professional support and moderate processes to ensure compliance with regulation.
Dr. Sascha Haghani, Senior Partner
Wolfgang Herrmann, Senior Partner
Dr. Gerd Sievers, Senior Partner