The German construction sector saw a boom in the early 1990s, triggered by the need for investments in the Eastern part of the reunited Germany. In the subsequent recession from 1995 to 2005, about 80,000 construction companies went insolvent, and nearly 800,000 people lost their jobs (Keitel 2007: 1). By contrast, the years 2006 and 2007 brought an end to the long period of recession with increases in the numbers of orders received by 5.1 per cent and 8.4 per cent respectively (Hauptverband der deutschen Bauindustrie 2006, 2007). However, in 2008, the number of orders decreased by 0.3 per cent (Hauptverband der deutschen Bauindustrie 2008). Interestingly, the number of orders from the public sector decreased by 23.1 per cent in the last quarter of 2008. It seems that this sharp drop was due to the fear municipalities had of a slump in tax revenues because of the overall economic recession (Hauptverband der deutschen Bauindustrie 2008). This clearly shows that the global economic downturn has reached the German construction sector.