Business services monitor: second quarter 2011

06/09/2011 15:00

Turnover in business services was again higher in the second quarter of 2011 than in the same quarter last year. It was the fourth consecutive quarter that turnover in business services increased. Opinions about business service showed a mixed picture in the second quarter: services providers in information technology and employment agencies were very positive about the economic climate, while advertising agencies have a very negative view. For the third quarter, companies are more gloomy about prices and employment in the sector. On balance, a majority think that turnover will continue to grow in the third quarter.

Again growth business services

Business services companies realised higher turnover growth again in the second quarter of 2011. Turnover was up by 3,3 percent, slightly more than in the first quarter. Companies in the travel agency branch realised the largest growth, at 17,5 percent. Architects experienced the largest decrease: they saw turnover fall by 8,1 percent compared to the second quarter of 2010.

Year-on-year turnover changes for business service providers

Year-on-year turnover changes for business service providers
 
Opinions about the economic climate deteriorated 

The Business Sentiment Survey of July 2011 showed that an increasing number of companies view the economic climate unfavourably. Opinions had reached a low point in 2009, when 60 percent of companies were pessimistic. Since then opinions have improved consistently and from the second quarter of 2010 onwards the positives have outweighed the negatives.
On balance, a small majority - by 2 percent - of companies think  the economic climate is unfavourable. This brought to an end the period of five consecutive quarters with positive opinions about the economic climate.

Opinions about the economic climate

Opinions about the economic climate
 
Number of companies with positive turnover expected to fall

The group of companies with optimistic turnover expectations is still larger than the group that expected a lower turnover, despite a drop in their number. On balance, 6 percent of expect turnover to increase. Business services providers expect to reduce their prices for customers. They also expect a further fall in employment.

Expectations for the third quarter of 2011

Expectations for the third quarter of 2011