Business Outlook Survey of Industrial and Service Firms, No. 57 - 2010Supplements to the Statistical Bulletin - Sample Surveys

The branches of the Bank of Italy conducted the interviews for the 18th sample survey from 20 September to 19 October this year. The sample consists of 4,145 firms with at least 20 employees, of which 2,962 industrial firms excluding construction and 1,183 non-financial private service firms.

Main results

Firms in industry (excluding construction) and services

  • firms’ investment plans continue to be dominated by caution: more than 60 per cent believe that in 2010 as a whole spending will be in line with the decrease planned at the beginning of the year. Firms indicating they had spent below the planned levels outnumbered those which said they had exceeded them
  • 21.8 per cent of firms expect to spend more in 2011 compared with 2010, a similar proportion expect to spend less
  • the number of firms reporting a tightening of overall credit conditions is in decline, but still high (around one fourth, compared with one third in 2009)
  • some 43.5 of firms reported an increase in turnover in the first nine months of 2010 compared with the same period in 2009, against 32.5 per cent that recorded a fall. More positive signals came from firms that export a large share of their output, to the BRIC countries in particular (Brazil, Russia, India and China)
  • the assessments indicating a reduction in average employment in 2010 compared with the previous year outnumber those pointing to an increase (34.1 per cent against 20 per cent; in 2009 the percentages were respectively 36.4 and 16.2)
  • in 2010, some 38.4 per cent of industrial firms applied to use Wage Supplementation (compared with 47.2 per cent in the 2009 survey); 6.7 per cent applied for authorization to place employees on the mobility list
  • more firms expect to make a profit in 2010 than in 2009 (56.1 per cent against 47.5 per cent).

Construction firms

  • the main indicator to emerge was a decline in the value of production in 2010 compared with 2009, reported by half the firms (last year this share was slightly higher); nevertheless, the assessments for 2011 are for a reversal of the trend.

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