Business services monitor: third quarter of 2008

16/12/2008 09:30

Business services realized less turnover growth in the third quarter than in the previous quarter. The sentiment among the companies has weakened a great deal, according to the results from the Business Sentiment Survey of October 2008. Opinions on economic climate have become considerably more negative. The entrepreneurs are still rather optimistic in their expectations for the forth quarter of 2008, but clearly less so than in previous quarters. The reaction is fairly mixed, in some industries entrepreneurs are still very optimistic while in others they are completely pessimistic. 

Temp agencies put pressure on turnover growth

Turnover increased by almost 7 percent compared to the same period of 2007. Turnover increased slightly less than in the same period of 2007. The most important cause is the halving of turnover growth of temp agencies. Positive exceptions were economic services, architects and engineers and security and tracing. Demand for inspection and monitoring services showed the strongest increase. Turnover increased with 10 percent on the third quarter of 2007.

Year-on-year turnover changes

Year-on-year turnover changes

Number of vacancies nearly unaltered

Compared to the third quarter of 2007, the number of vacancies remains almost unchanged. At the end of September, the number of vacant positions in business services reached 50 thousand. Demand for new personnel also continues to be high. The number of new vacancies in the third quarter came to 48 thousand, virtually the same as the year before. The need for labour was greatest in accountancy and economic services, and architects and engineers. Almost half of the vacancies can be attributed to these industries.

Number of new and filled vacancies

Number of new and filled vacancies

Economic climate changes for the worse

Results from the Business Sentiment Survey of October 2008 indicate that optimism among entrepreneurs in Business Services has shrunk. The work force has expanded slightly. The sentiment about the current economic climate for enterprises has worsened substantially during the third quarter.

Opinions on economic climate

Opinions on economic climate

Shortage work force continues to inhibit growth

The entrepreneurs are less optimistic in their expectations for the fourth quarter of 2008 than in the previous quarters. Expectations for future turnover are still optimistic and higher selling prices are anticipated in the fourth quarter. On the other hand, entrepreneurs are much more cautious about future work force, 22 percent expects an expansion while 20 percent foresees a decline. Moreover, 40 percent of the entrepreneurs indicate that lack of personnel will interfere with their business activities. 

Expectations for the fourth quarter of 2008

Expectations for the fourth quarter of 2008