Business Outlook Survey of Industrial and Service Firms - 2023Statistics

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The assessments of sales by firms in industry excluding construction and non-financial services with 20 or more employees with respect to the first nine months of 2023 are positive overall, although they point to a slowdown compared with last year, especially in manufacturing. Over the next six months, growth in turnover is expected to continue at a similar pace to that observed in the first three quarters of the year.

Employment is set to grow: the number of hours worked per employee in the first nine months of 2023 increased and should continue to do so in the next six months, albeit at a slower pace. Staff numbers are also expected to rise in 2023.

Borrowing conditions have worsened considerably, reflecting higher interest rates. Demand for bank loans has slowed slightly, while liquidity remains adequate to meet firms' operational needs.

Firms confirmed for 2023 their investment plans made at the end of last year, which projected a contraction in industry excluding construction and an expansion in services. For 2024, firms expect investment to grow in all sectors.

In line with last year's expectations, activity in the construction sector has strengthened further in 2023, partly owing to building renovation measures and incentives. This has benefited employment and profitability. Firms expect public and private construction to increase further in 2024.

Main trends as reported by firms

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