According to calculations by the Institute of the German Economy (IW), the tightening of the Corona measures to combat the Omikron variant threatens to leave deep scars, especially in the hospitality industry and in stationary retail.
Significant losses are to be expected in the gastronomy sector, it said. "If things get as bad for the restaurant trade as they did at the beginning of 2021, the sales losses here could also add up to more than 10 billion euros compared to a normal year," the economic experts warned.
Around 6 billion euros per month in sales would be lost in the stationary retail trade, the researchers predicted, according to a statement presented on Wednesday. Some of the business is migrating to online retail, they said.
The coronavirus has already severely damaged the German economy, according to the IW. So far, according to the Institute's calculations, around 335 billion euros in value added have been lost, including 190 billion euros last year and 145 billion in 2021. Even without Omikron, another 35 billion euros would have been added in the first quarter of 2022, according to the experts' calculations.
The new wave and the associated restrictions increased the loss in gross domestic product (GDP) by another 5 to 15 billion euros. Corona losses in the first quarter could thus add up to 50 billion euros.
In the long term, only a high vaccination rate would enable the return to normality, the IW stressed. According to the institute, a general vaccination obligation would accelerate this process and provide relief for hospitals.