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KfW Research

The coronavirus crisis and its impact

The crisis caused by the Corona shock is like nothing before in terms of how fast it spread, its depth and the global scale of it. Current data and in-depth analyses are needed in order to find ways out of the crisis. Here you can read all the relevant position papers and studies by KfW Research regarding the current situation in SMEs, start-ups, municipalities and the labour market, both in Germany and internationally.

KfW Research – Ideas and thoughts on the crisis

A boost in investment for the transformation – what exactly is needed?

Even amid the necessary short-term crisis management, investments are key to successful adaptation to the changed environment. They make restructuring energy supplies and the green and digital transformation possible – and demand a joint effort by government, the business community and private households. (November 2022)

Emerging stronger from the coronavirus crisis – five areas of action for a sustainable transformation

The need to change course is becoming ever more urgent if we are to make Germany future-proof. We see the greatest need in five key areas of action: Crisis resilience, climate neutrality, digitalisation, globalisation and Europe. (August 2021)

SMEs between financial resilience and a digital and green investment surge – a trade-off that should not be

Germany is facing enormous challenges with the transformation towards a digital and climate-neutral economy. But the coronavirus crisis is standing in the way of the necessary investment surge. (November 2020)

For crisis-resilient growth and better global collaboration

The coronavirus pandemic has plunged Germany into a deep recession. Still, there is good reason to be optimistic. What do we have to do to succeed in overcoming the crisis? (October 2020)

Where to from here? The crucial next steps in the coronavirus crisis

The economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis will hinge on meeting three immediate challenges: managing increased business debt and its consequences, building on the initial impetus for digitalisation and advancing carbon neutrality. (August 2020)

The crisis as a catalyst for more sustainable economic management

After the coronavirus crisis, five fields of action will be crucial to making economic management more sustainable: enhancing the crisis resilience of the economy, accelerating the transition towards carbon neutrality, translating digitalisation and inventiveness into productivity growth, continuing to use the advantages of international integration and strengthening Europe. (May 2020)

Business cycle

Current economic analyses from KfW Research can be found in our Economy Dossier.


Which enterprises have been hit hardest by the coronavirus crisis and what lessons can we learn from it?

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic has hit the entire SME sector but different segments have been affected to varying degrees. (August 2021)

Coronavirus crisis in Germany’s SMEs: Return to full economic activity still far off but gradual opening has eased pressure on liquidity

Most small and medium-sized enterprises will feel the impact of the coronavirus crisis for a long time. That was one of the findings of the second representative supplementary survey based on the KfW SME Panel in June 2020. (June 2020)

SMEs are firmly in the grip of the coronavirus crisis but (still) holding on strong

The coronavirus crisis currently has a firm grip on Germany’s SMEs. A slump in turnover, dwindling liquidity buffers and uncertain prospects are spreading gloom. In March alone, SMEs’ turnover losses amounted to EUR 75 billion. (April 2020)

Innovation and Digitalisation

Coronavirus crisis is hampering innovation, digitalisation sees mixed trend

Innovation has declined among SMEs during the Corona crisis. After the initial push for digitalisation, activity here is also threatening to fall. (January 2021)

Innovation during the coronavirus crisis: necessity is the mother of invention

Many SMEs are reacting to the coronavirus crisis with innovations. 27% have already introduced process, product or business model innovations.

SMEs are responding creatively to the coronavirus crisis

Many small and medium-sized enterprises have modified their offerings, sales method and business model as a result of the corona crisis. (June 2020)


Coronavirus crisis has unsettled the VC market and changed the investor landscape

In a special survey, 24 VC investors gave their views on specific aspects. Start-ups are grappling with losses in turnover, which has also increased the risk of failure. At the same time, the crisis is impacting on their financing situation. (August 2020)

Job Market

Continuing education has dropped in the crisis – need for digital skills is growing

In-company continuing education downright collapsed in the crisis year 2020. At the same time, the need for further digital skills training has grown significantly. Unless continuing education activities are stepped up noticeably, SMEs will become less competitive. (April 2021)

Coronavirus and structural change threaten jobs – further training more important than ever

Lifelong learning and further education have become more important than ever. Not only do they improve employment prospects of unemployed and short-time workers during the coronavirus crisis. They also enable workers to flexibly adapt to demographic, digital and ecological structural change. (February 2021)

Coronavirus crisis drives shift to flexible and digital working in SMEs

In order to keep their business open and protect their employees during the coronavirus crisis, many SMEs have increasingly transitioned to flexible working hours, split teams and home working arrangements. (June 2020)

International situation

The coronavirus and foreign trade – the crisis accentuates long-term trends

The corona crisis quickly affected Germany’s important trading partners, causing international trade to collapse. In the longer term, digitali­sation and the further develop­ment of climate techno­logies will be important factors that will influence trade in capital goods, which saw a particularly steep drop. (Marach 2021)

Short-term shock with lasting effects: The coronavirus crisis and international value chains

The coronavirus crisis has hit the global economy hard. International trade has plummeted. After what they have experienced during the crisis, businesses are likely to reassess and realign their global value chains. This may further slow down globalisation. However, diversified international trade offers opportunities for addressing country-specific risks. (December 2020)

Economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Latin America

The measures taken to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, the collapse in commodity prices, the disruptions in international financial markets and the economic downturn in important trading and financing partners such as the US and China have hit Latin American economies hard. (April 2020)

Considerations on the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Africa

The coronavirus crisis has hit Africa’s economies particularly hard. Major export markets have collapsed as a result of the global economic crisis. The costs of imports are rising and driving inflation. (April 2020)


KfW Research, KfW Group, Palmengartenstrasse 5-9, 60325 Frankfurt, Germany,


KfW Research, KfW Group, Palmengartenstrasse 5-9, 60325 Frankfurt, Germany,

Our newsletters report on economic and demographic developments in Germany and Europe, as well as on interesting global economic and development policy topics.