Although the UK’s HGV driver shortage is a domestic problem, pandemic supply chain problems are a rather wider issue.

In Germany, manufacturers are also worried about disruption caused by shortages of semi-conductors, plastics and metals, and the risks of another wave of Covid-19

Ifo, the German economic institute, has warned this morning that “the mood in the German economy has clouded over again”.

Its Business Climate Index has dropped this month to 99.4 points, from 100.7, due to a drop in company optimism -- which indicates Germany’s recovery could be weakening.

IFO president Clemens Fuest says:

Concerns are growing in the hospitality and tourism sectors in particular. By contrast, companies assessed their current situation as somewhat better than in the previous month.

Supply bottlenecks for intermediate products in manufacturing and worries about rising infection numbers are putting a strain on the economy.