Germany's small- and medium-sized manufacturing companies have some catching up to do in their preparations for the changeover to the year 2000, Germany's economic institute, Ifo, said recently. Citing a survey done at the end of October, Ifo says the changeover should lead to no major restrictions in the manufacturing industry overall as most firms have almost completed preparations or are working on them. But there was a word of caution. "However pleasing the total picture is, there seem to be deficits, especially with small- and medium-sized companies," Ifo notes in its latest report comparing surveys done in October and April. Ifo says 6.5% of companies with fewer than 49 employees have not yet started implementing specific measures for the changeover, compared with 9.8% in April. The companies said they are still in the stage of preparation, according to Ifo.