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Survey: SMEs anticipate major economic slowdown


Nearly 60% of micro, small and medium-sized companies in Poland expect the slowdown of economic growth in 2012 to be deeper or much deeper than the one the country experienced in 2008-2009, according to a survey commissioned by the Polish Confederation of Private Employers (PKPP) Lewiatan.

The study shows that 30.1% of SMEs in Poland believe the impact of the second wave of the economic crisis on the Polish economy will be “much stronger” than four years ago and 29.2% think it will be “stronger”. Just 4.2% expect no slowdown at all, while 11% believe it will be less pronounced than in 2008-2009.

This suggests that the majority of SMEs will be less willing to invest or create new jobs in the remainder of 2012 and in 2013, though the Confederation comments.

The study also shows that companies are somewhat less worried about the impact of the downturn on their sector than on their own business, and that there are considerable differences in sentiment between sectors. Transport and storage companies, wholesale and retail traders, and real estate services firms display the highest level of concern about the impact of the economic slowdown on their industry. Transport companies are also the most worried about its impact on their own business, followed by manufacturing, horeca, and wholesale and retail trade. ICT firms are relatively the least pessimistic on both issues. Interestingly, construction companies showed less pessimism than several other sectors about the perceived impact of the crisis on their industry, but were notably more downbeat about the outlook for their own business, which suggests the situation there is strongly differentiated.

Nearly 36% of SMEs are taking into consideration the possibility of liquidity loss and, consequently, bankruptcy (with 8.4% “definitely” taking into account such a scenario). The percentage is highest in construction, transport and manufacturing, and lowest in real estate services, ICT and professional, R&D and engineering services.

The survey was carried out by CBOS between 3 April and 10 July 2012 on a random sample of 1,500 SMEs.

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