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Keralla: SME sector more jittery about outlook


2011-02-24



Polish small and medium enterprises (SME) have grown noticeably more concerned about the economic outlook during the fourth quarter of 2010, partly reflecting heightened criticism of the government’s stewardship of the economy, according to a quarterly survey of sentiment in the SME sector by Keralla Research.

KERNA, its composite indicator of SME sentiment, fell to -55.6 points in Q4, down by 4.3 points from the previous quarter and by 6.9 points year-on-year. The component indicator showing assessments of general domestic economic situation after Q4 slumped to -77.2 points and the one measuring perceived outlook for Q1 2011 plummeted to -63.1 points, i.e. below levels recorded in 2009, at the depth of the crisis. The company comments that the deterioration is due chiefly to discontent with the government’s handling of the economy, notably the rise in VAT rates and other unfavourable changes in VAT, controversial pension reform, or rising debt. SMEs are somewhat more optimistic regarding their own performance and prospects, but here too, the share of pessimists increased.

At the same time, the ZAIR index, which measures anticipated investments, improved by two points in quarterly terms and by four points on a yearly basis, to -51.2 points, indicating that companies from the SME sector will either maintain investments at Q4 levels or increase them.

The survey was conducted between 18 and 28 January 2011. It is based on interviews with a representative sample of 600 companies employing less than 250 people.



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