Business services monitor: fourth quarter of 2011

Turnover in business services was lower in the fourth quarter of 2011 than in the corresponding quarter of 2010. Nevertheless, the decline was modest. The developments in turnover varied widely between the various sectors in business services.

Less turnover fourth quarter

After five consecutive quarters of growth, turnover in the fourth quarter of 2011 was down on the previous year. Its 0.6 percent decline was moderate in comparison with the second quarter of 2009, when the previous dip in turnover started.

Rising in business services

Not all business services saw their turnover decline with reference to one year earlier. The two largest sectors in business services, the temporary employment and the computer industry, managed to produce a growth of 3.4 and 1.9 percent respectively. The temporary employment and the computer industry together account for one third of the total turnover in business services.

Falling in business services

Architects and engineers, the advertising industry, and management and business consultants were hardest hit. The situation of architects and engineers has looked particularly bad for some time because their turnover has dipped since the beginning of 2009. This has to do with the downturn in the market for housing and commercial premises.

Year-on-year turnover changes

Year-on-year turnover changes
Modest grow in 2011

Turnover in business services rose by 1.5 percent in 2011 as a whole, whereas turnover had decreased in the two precending years. Nevertheless, the growth in turnover was far less than in 2006-2008 when annual growth rates over 5 percent were common. It looks like enterprises in 2011 were still cautious about buying business services, just as they had been in the previous two years.