The business climate on the German private equity market remains very good at the beginning of the year. In the first quarter of 2017, the business climate index of the German Private Equity Barometer was 61.8 balance points (-0.2 points). The indicator for the current business situation increased slightly by 0.5 points to 65.1 balance points, the indicator for business expectations declined slightly by 1.0 points to 58.6 balance points. While the mood of early phase investors is improving again, investors in the later phase are settling down after the previous record quarter. There were no significant changes in the most important factors of the market environment at the beginning of the year. Investors remain dissatisfied with the entry prices, but rate exit opportunities and fundraising as very good - the latter with another slightly improved high. At the beginning of the year, the business climate in the venture capital segment made up for the drop in the final quarter of last year. The business climate indicator for the early-phase segment rose by 11.3 points to 59.7 balance points. By contrast, the business climate in the late phase segment cooled off somewhat after the record high in the previous quarter. The Business Climate Indicator fell by 7.2 points to 63.5 balance points in the first quarter of 2017, but remains very good.
The German equity capital market continued its record hunt in early summer and reached a new high in sentiment. In the second quarter of 2017, the business climate index of the German Private Equity Barometer climbed by 3.4 points to 65.2 balance points. The indicator for the current business situation rises by 3.5 points to a best value of 68.6 balance points, the indicator for business expectations increases by 3.3 points to 61.8 balance points. The high level of the general business climate continues to be accompanied by very good assessments of the fundraising, exit and promotion environment. The level and quality of the deal flow are still considered satisfactory. By contrast, the satisfaction of investors with entry prices is falling to a new low. In addition, depreciation pressure is now increasing for the sixth consecutive quarter. Once again, the trend in the submarkets is contrary: the mood of early-stage investors is cooling off slightly, while the mood among investors in later phases is improving again.
The business climate on the German equity capital market improved again in the third quarter. The German Private Equity Barometer rises by 4.9 points to 70.2 balance points, clearly surpassing its record level of the second quarter. The indicator for the current business situation rises by 1.9 points to 70.5 balance points, the indicator for business expectations increases by 8 points to 69.8 balance points. This development reflects a new record high in the early-stage segment of the equity capital market. The business climate in the late phase segment remains very good, just below its record level of the second quarter. The renewed improvement in the business climate is supported by a strong improvement in the exit environment. The valuation of the exit possibilities clearly exceeds the previous record value from the first quarter of 2015.
In the final quarter of 2017, the business climate in the German equity capital market declined slightly. However, the German Private Equity Barometer finished the year with 66.1 balance points, only 4.0 points below its record level of the third quarter. The indicator for the current business situation increased slightly to 71.6 balance points (+1.1), while the indicator for business expectations declined to 60.7 balance points (-9.1). The business climate in the VC market remains very positive towards the end of the year. In the fourth quarter of 2017, the Business Climate Indicator fell only slightly to 65.6 balance points, only 3.4 points below its third quarter record. In the late phase segment, the year also comes to an end with a moderate decline in the business climate. The indicator fell slightly by 4.5 points to 66.6 balance points. In 2017, the mood on the German private equity market was thus in a superlative year: the assessments of the business climate, fundraising climate, exit and funding environment were never better. It therefore took exactly ten years before the record levels of the pre-crisis year 2007 were beaten on average for the year.