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Keralla: confidence in SME sector slumps amid uncertainty


2011-09-02



Sentiment in the Polish SME sector took an unexpectedly sharp fall at the end of the second quarter of 2011, reflecting enormous uncertainty about the economic outlook for Q3 rather than any actual deterioration in conditions, according to a quarterly survey by Keralla Research.

KERNA, Keralla’s composite indicator of SME sentiment, amounted to -56.37 points, down by more than five points from three months earlier and by nearly 16 points over a year ago. Interestingly, assessments of the current (i.e. in Q2) domestic economic situation and of company situation were actually better than three months earlier, but perceptions of the outlook for Q3 have grown decidedly more pessimistic, and while SMEs remained more confident about their own prospects than about the economy as a whole (the latter indicator was at its worst this year), the share of respondents saying the near-term future looked bright for their company slumped by 8.5 points.

At the same time, the ZAIR index, which measures anticipated investments, plunged by nearly 17 points from Q1 to -69.5 points (in yearly terms this represented a drop of over 16 points). For example, the percentage of firms expecting to hire new workers in Q3 was 14.2%, down from 18.8% three months earlier and from 19.2% a year ago. According to Keralla Research, the sharp fall of the index suggests SMEs will invest less and be more cautious about capital projects than three months earlier.

The survey was conducted between 29 June and 11 July 2011. It is based on interviews with a representative sample of 600 companies employing less than 250 people.



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