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Grant Thornton: Polish companies defy global trend with rise in optimism in Q3


Privately-held companies in Poland are more optimistic about the future than their counterparts in other EU countries, with the sole exception of Germany, according to the third-quarter edition of International Business Report 2011, a quarterly survey of 39 economies worldwide by Grant Thornton, the audit and consultancy firm (the study does not cover other CEE countries that are members of the EU, such as the Czech Republic, Hungary, or Slovakia).

The net level of optimism among private companies in Poland (i.e., the share of optimists less pessimists) improved by six points in Q3 and amounted to 28%. This came amid what the company described as “a pandemic collapse in business optimism during the third quarter of 2011” extending across mature and emerging markets, with the net global optimism tumbling from 31% to just 3%. The result gave Poland 22nd place among the 39 countries covered by the survey, just ahead of Sweden with 18%. Most major EU economies, such as Great Britain, Italy, France, or Spain, had strongly negative values of the business optimism index in Q3.

Against this background of relative optimism, two areas stand out as perceived sources of concern for Polish companies. One is access to external financing, which is viewed more pessimistically than in any other EU country covered by the report except debt crisis-stricken Spain, Ireland and Greece (Grant Thornton attributes this to a combination of tighter lending rules adopted by banks and uncertainty over the new EU budget). The other is red tape.

The survey measures business expectations for revenue, employment, profits, investment in plant and machinery, selling prices, R&D, and investment in new hiring. The latest edition is based on interviews with 2,721 businesses across the globe conducted in August/September 2011.

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