Sales of products and services from ICT companies only shrank by 0.6 percent in 2020 to just under 170 billion euros, while other industries sometimes suffered double-digit losses.
The digital economy in Germany has recovered from the negative consequences of the corona pandemic faster than the German economy as a whole. In 2020, sales with products and services from ICT companies only shrank by 0.6 percent to just under 170 billion euros, while other industries sometimes suffered double-digit losses.
For the current year, the industry association Bitkom is expecting “robust growth” of 3.7 percent. The number of jobs in this segment will increase by 20,000 in 2021 and thus exceed the 1.2 million threshold for the first time.
IT hardware is the biggest sales driver
The biggest sales driver in information technology is IT hardware, also because many companies have to upgrade their technical infrastructure for the home office of their employees. Sales of computers, servers and peripheral devices are expected to rise sharply by 8.6 percent to 31.6 billion euros.
Bitkom also expects growth in the software market, which is expected to grow by 4.1 percent to 27.0 billion euros. IT consultants are also doing well: sales with IT services are expected to grow by 1.1 percent to 40.0 billion euros in 2021.
In telecommunications, the expansion of fiber optics and the introduction of the fifth generation of mobile communications (5G) are the main drivers of business. However, tough competition in this area prevents huge leaps in sales. After two years of consolidation, the segment is expected to grow by 1.0 percent to 67.4 billion euros in 2021.
“Network operators are investing massively in the future of fixed-line and mobile communications,” said Berg. This is an important contribution to meeting the continuously increasing demands on the speed and availability of the networks. Refinancing remains a major challenge for companies given the low growth in sales due to the high competitive pressure.
Consumer electronics could shrink in 2021
The only segment expected to shrink in 2021 is consumer electronics. Here sales will probably fall for the fourth year in a row, albeit less strongly than last. This smallest ICT sub-market is expected to shrink by 2.0 percent to 8.3 billion euros.
Berg: “Despite the corona-related boom in individual areas, consumer electronics are still under great pressure. The special Corona boom for game consoles, wearables and headsets cannot stop the downward trend. The good news is: the declines are slowing down.”
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