Pressemitteilung/Press Release

Press Release of 5 November 2014

Development of Corporate Earnings: Positive But Inconsistent

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Statistics on corporate earnings in Germany are still not being recorded satisfactorily, despite them being an important economic indicator. To date, DaFNE remains a seldom-used data basis for describing company profits. It includes statutory financial statements (balance sheet, profit and loss statement) in a longitudinal (panel) data format that enables individual company profits to be tracked and evaluated over time. The analyses in this Wochenbericht show that, on the whole (or on average), the profits of non-financial corporations are developing positively again in the wake of the financial and economic crises. Further, there appears to be considerable variation behind the averages values, for instance in the development of individual sectors. Indeed, a closer inspection of the panel data on the development of earnings by individual corporations shows a significant proportion of companies made losses in more than half of the years between 2006 and 2011. However, the total value of these losses was far lower than the earnings achieved by those companies making profits in at least half of those years. Companies making a profit before the financial and economic crises (2006, 2007) but making a loss in one of the crisis years more frequently showed losses after the crises (2010, 2011) than was the case for companies making a profit in 2006 and 2007 that also went on to show a profit in 2008 and 2009. What the data do not indicate, however, is to what extent losses incurred in the financial crisis are responsible for subsequent losses.

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DIW Wochenbericht 44-45/2014 | PDF, 0.54 MB

German Institute for Economic Research

Founded in 1925, DIW Berlin (the German Institute for Economic Research) is one of the leading economic research institutes in Germany. The Institute analyzes the economic and social aspects of topical issues, formulating and disseminating policy advice based on its research findings. DIW Berlin is part of both the national and international scientific communities, provides research infrastructure to academics all over the world, and promotes the next generation of scientists. A member of the Leibniz Association, DIW Berlin is independent and primarily publicly funded.

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