Employment continued to fall in both industry (1.2 per cent) and services (0.4 per cent). Firms project a further contraction during 2013 in both sectors (1.7 per cent in industry and 1.3 per cent in services).
After declining for two years, the number of hours paid by the Wage Supplementation Fund for industrial firms with 50 workers or more increased from 4.7 per cent of hours worked in 2011 to 5.3 per cent in 2012.
Sales turnover fell by 2.6 per cent in real terms in industry and by 4 per cent in services. Expectations are that the drop in sales will be less marked in 2013 (0.5 per cent in both branches) and are more favourable for export firms.
The share of firms showing a profit was down compared with 2011 (from 57.5 to 55.3 per cent) while the share of those recording a loss was up from 24.7 to 29.9 per cent.
Gross fixed investment diminished in real terms for the second year running (by 8.7 per cent, compared with 2.6 per cent in 2011). In manufacturing, investment decreased less as firm size and propensity to export increased. Programmes for 2013 indicate a further reduction in investment, although more contained.
The proportion of firms reporting total or partial rejection of their applications for new bank loans in 2012 rose slightly with respect to the previous year (12.4 per cent against 11.7 per cent), while firms complaining of tighter borrowing conditions diminished from 35.2 to 29.1 per cent of the total.