Real sales higher than in pre-crisis year 2019
Preliminary data from the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) show that German wholesalers generated more sales in 2021, both in real terms (+2.1 percent) and in nominal terms (+10.1 percent), than in 2020, the year with the highest sales to date. In addition, price-adjusted sales in the wholesale sector increased by 4.0 percent in 2021 compared with the pre-crisis year 2019.
Sales development in 2021
Initially, according to Destatis, there were sharp drops in sales in January and February 2021. The reason for this was the Corona lockdown. In March, sales picked up again considerably, which the Federal Statistical Office suspects was due to the catch-up effects. Until December, the development of real sales held at a constant level. Between January and November, for example, sales were up 2.4 percent on the same period of the previous year. Meanwhile, December 2021 saw a 3.3 percent month-on-month decline in real sales.
Sales growth of the two sub-sectors of wholesale trade
According to Destatis, the development of sales in the first half of 2021 was very similar in production and consumption-related trade. In contrast, sales developments then differed in the second half of the year. A more positive development was recorded in the consumption connection trade than in the production connection trade.
Compared with the first half of the year, sales in the consumption link trade increased by 5.7 percent. In contrast, production link trade only achieved an increase in sales of 1.4 percent. Destatis cites supply bottlenecks and the rise in raw material prices as reasons for the sluggish development of sales in production link trade.