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Keralla: SME sector more positive about outlook


Sentiment in the Polish SME sector improved in the first quarter of the year amid better assessments of the near-term outlook, according to a quarterly survey by Keralla Research. Even so, the country’s small and medium enterprises remain concerned about the economy, which according to the company reflects a critical assessment of the government’s policies on small business as well as uncertainty over the strength of recovery.

KERNA, Keralla’s composite indicator of SME sentiment, rose to -51.03 points in Q1, up from -55.6 points in Q4, thus reversing the decline it suffered in the preceding quarter. The component indicator showing assessments of general domestic economic situation after Q1 rose slightly to -75.5 points from -77.2 points, but remained at a very low level, whereas the index of perceived economic outlook for Q2 increased to -51.4 points from a two-year low of -63.1 points in Q4, yet the percentage of optimists less pessimists remained in negative territory.

Assessments of company situation at the end of Q1 deteriorated to -54.7 points from -50.7 points, but expectations for the next quarter improved sharply to -22.5 points from -31.6 points, well above the perceived outlook for the economy as a whole. Nearly 39% of respondents predicted the situation of their company would improve in Q2, with only 14% expecting it to deteriorate.

At the same time, the ZAIR index, which measures anticipated investments, shed 1.45 points and amounted to -52.64 points, indicating that companies from the SME sector will either maintain investments at Q1 levels or reduce them slightly. But the component indicator measuring expectations for hiring actually improved.

The survey was conducted between 12 and 21 April 2011. It is based on interviews with a representative sample of 600 companies employing less than 250 people.

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