The following article presents the business survey conducted by the German Economic Institute (Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft, IW). It provides comprehensive information on the current situation and the outlook of German companies and serves as an important basis for the half-year economic forecast by the German Economic Institute (Grömling, 2005).

The German Economic Institute has been asking eastern German companies about their current business situation and their economic outlook since 1992 (see Beyfuß/Lichtblau, 2002). The former, so-called East Survey (Ost-Umfrage) was conducted 21 times in total by the IW's central office in Berlin. Roughly 500 eastern German companies took part in each case, and the response rate was extraordinarily high at an average of just under 50 per cent.