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Lewiatan survey: flagging investment and job creation in SME sector


The share of small and medium-sized firms (SMEs) reporting a rise in sales and profits is set to be higher this year than in 2010, but statistics for investments and job creation are likely to stagnate or deteriorate, which does not augur particularly well for 2012, according to a survey of 1,500 SMEs by the Polish Confederation of Private Employers (PKPP) Lewiatan.

One in three of the surveyed SMEs (33%) expects its revenues to improve this year, and a similar percentage (31.4%) predict higher profits. Nearly one in four (23.3%) expects to make gains in market share. In 2010 the (actual) numbers were 29.6%, 28.6% and 20.1%, respectively.

At the same time, the share of companies where investments in new capacity are expected to increase in 2011 is 18.8%, compared with 22% who say they grew in 2010 (more SMEs are investing in launching new products, though). Furthermore, 13.6% of the surveyed companies said staff numbers would be higher at the end of 2011, compared with (an already low) 13.9% who said headcount increased in 2010, raising little hope of a strong and sustained labour market recovery, the PKPP said (the outlook for job creation is relatively brighter in sectors such as information and communication activities, hotels and restaurants, and real estate). And the percentage of firms where wages will rise in 2011 will be lower (33.1% vs. 33.7%), especially in construction, manufacturing or professional services.

According to PKPP Lewiatan, the findings of the survey point to a substantial slowdown in investments in the SME sector in 2012, weaker job creation, slower sales growth, and smaller wage increases.

The survey was conducted between 15 June and 15 September on a random sample of 1,500 SMEs in Poland.

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