Business Outlook Survey of Industrial and Service Firms, No. 59 - 2014Supplements to the Statistical Bulletin - Sample Surveys

The survey was conducted in September and October 2014 on a sample of 4,326 firms with 20 or more workers operating in industry excluding construction and in the private-sector non-financial services, and on 559 construction firms with at least 10 workers.

Main Results

Industry and Services

  • About 63.4 percent of firms reported that their investment expenditure during 2014 was consistent with what they had planned at the end of last year; 22.7 per cent reported that it was less than planned, while 13.9 per cent reported higher investment. In industry, the downward revision of investment plans mainly involved firms with over 500 workers.
  • For 2015, the firms planning an increase in investment were marginally outnumbered by those planning a decrease (18.5 as against 22.1 per cent). Plans for increasing investment were more common among firms with over 200 workers, which tend to make larger investments, and in particular among industrial firms that export at least one third of their revenues.
  • Some 32.9 per cent of firms reported higher turnover in the first nine months of 2014 than in the same period of 2013, while 35.9 per cent reported that turnover had decreased. For service firms the negative balance between higher and lower turnover was more pronounced (–7.7 percentage points).
  • Exports were generally described as increasing, in 2014 and for what regards expectations for 2015. The expansion involved practically all outlet markets except Russia, sales to which have been affected by the geo-political tensions in Ukraine.
  • The balance between reports of easing and tightening of credit conditions was negative (–5.9 percentage points). In the previous survey, a year earlier, this indicator was –18.2 points.
  • Workforce trends remained negative in 2014. The balance between judgments of higher and lower staffing levels was –9.6 points; the balance was less negative in industry than in services (–5.5 as against –12.7 points).
  • The positive balance between firms making profits and those making losses improved in 2014 to 37.4 percentage points, as against 29.1 points a year earlier; the balance was especially positive among export-oriented firms.

Construction and public works

  • Judgments on the trend in construction activity in 2014 were negative on the whole, with a balance between indications of expansion and contraction of –28.2 percentage points. Even so, this represents an improvement on the 2013 survey, which showed a balance of –43.1 points.
  • Negative judgments also prevailed in the area of credit access; the balance between reports of easing and tightening conditions was –31.2 points, compared with –42.9 points in the year-earlier survey.

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