Business services monitor: first quarter 2012

07/06/2012 09:30

Turnover in business services was again lower in the first quarter of 2012 than in the corresponding quarter of 2011. The decline was smaller than in the previous quarter, though. On balance the sentiment among the providers of business services was less negative about the economic climate in the first quarter of 2012 than in the preceding quarter. Fewer entrepreneurs predict a negative development of the economic climate. They hardly expect rates to fall further, and they expect employment in business services to shrink less than in the preceding quarters.

Turnover in business services shrinking less

Turnover in business services fell for the second quarter in a row. In the first quarter of 2012 turnover fell by 0.3 percent on the corresponding quarter of 2011. In the preceding quarter turnover had fallen by 0.6 percent.

Wide variation among business services

Architects experienced the sharpest decrease in turnover in business services. Compared to the first quarter of 2011 their turnover fell by 10.8 percent. Market researchers saw their turnover diminish by 9.5 percent. Management consultancies realised the largest increase in turnover compared to the corresponding quarter of 2011. Their turnover rose substantially, namely by 7.4 percent.

Year-on-year turnover changes

Year-on-year turnover changes
Economic climate deteriorating slightly less

The economic survey of April 2012 shows that on balance 20 percent of the entrepreneurs in business services experienced a deterioration of the economic climate in the first quarter of 2012. In the fourth quarter this had been more than 25 percent. 16 percent of the entrepreneurs expect a further deterioration and 11 percent an improvement for the second quarter.

More entrepreneurs positive in their turnover expectations

The group of the entrepreneurs in business services who are positive outweighs the group who is negative in their turnover expectations. In the previous quarter 2.4 percent was pessimistic, on balance. This quarter 12 percent is optimistic, on balance. The entrepreneurs in business services also foresee little change in the rates they charge their clients. Some 4 percent expect employment in business services to deteriorate further, compared to 7 percent in the previous quarter.

Expectations for the second quarter of 2012

Expectations for the second quarter of 2012