Continuing optimism, but more cautious than in previous years – this is the mood of German companies with respect to their commitment in research and development (R&D) in 2012. This view results from the R&D early indicator of the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft (Foundation Association of German Science). Although the early indicator is still positive with a value of 0.25, thus indicating a continued rise in companies’ commitment in R&D, it is still well below previous years’ values of 0.44 in 2010 and 0.42 in 2011.
The Stifterverband’s early indicator gives first pointers to how research and development are developing in the German economy in the current year. It relates to assessments from 1,029 companies that the Stifterverband surveyed about the likely development of R&D expenditures in the second quarter of 2012. For this purpose 61 per cent of companies reported they would slightly increase their R&D expenditures compared to the previous year. A good eleven per cent even wanted to significantly raise their commitment. In contrast, 23 per cent of companies assumed they would spend less on R&D than in the previous year. The remaining companies saw no change.