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Results of the Ifo Architects Survey of 4th quarter 2012

Ifo Architects Survey: Business Climate Clouds Over

The business climate for freelance architects in Germany clouded over slightly at the beginning of the fourth quarter of 2012, according to the results of the Ifo Institute's quarterly architects survey. However, the majority of architects surveyed continued to assess their current business situation positively. The share of architects surveyed who assessed their current business situation as “good” decreased from 42% to 39%, however the number of “poor” assessments also shrank to 18%.

The estimated construction volume from newly signed contracts (new builds without planning services) in the third quarter of 2012 was around 8% lower than in the previous quarter. This represented a decrease of around 10% in residential construction and a 6% decline in non-residential construction.

The downward trend in the number of newly acquired planning contracts from commercial contractors continued, with planned volumes decreasing by as much as a third in the third quarter of 2012. As far as public sector contractors are concerned, last quarter’s sharp drop was almost cancelled out.

The average order backlog decreased slightly to 5.7 months. The order backlog buffer remained at the same level as a year ago.

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Presentation of survey results (in German)

  1. Gluch, Erich, "ifo Architektenumfrage: Geschäftsklima leicht eingetrübt", ifo Schnelldienst 65 (23), 2012, 86-87 | Details | PDF Download


The Ifo Institute has conducted its quarterly survey of freelance architects Germany-wide since 1996 (since 1980 in only four federal states) among a panel of 1,800 architects. The survey gathers data on the business climate, new contracts – from which construction volume is estimated – as well as orders on hand. The quarterly data is supplemented by annually surveyed data on how large the architectural offices are and on their legal forms and volume of fees.

Further information:

Ludwig Dorffmeister

Ifo Institute
Ifo Center for Industrial Organisation and New Technologies
Phone: +49(0)89/9224-1343
Fax: +49(0)89/907795-1343
Email: dorffmeister @

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