Business services monitor second quarter 2013

16/09/2013 16:30
Correction on 2 October 2013: in the previous version of this monitor an incorrect turnover growth of 2 percent for the first half year of 2012 was mentioned. The correct growth figure for the first half year of 2012 is 1 percent. This is also corrected in de first graph of this monitor.

Turnover in the business services sector was higher in the second quarter of 2013 than twelve months previously, ending the decrease in turnover of the preceding two quarters. The number of vacancies in the sector was at its lowest for ten years. The number of bankruptcies in the sector was higher, however. The sentiment among providers of business services was sombre in the second quarter, and most of them are pessimistic about the third quarter of 2013 as well.

Small turnover growth for business services

Turnover in the business services sector was 0.3 percent higher in the second quarter of 2013 than in the same quarter last year. This small increase follows two quarters of decrease, and puts the fall in turnover at 0.4 percent for the first half of 2013. In 2012, turnover grew by 1 percent in the first half of the year.

Year-on-year change in turnover in business services

Year-on-year change in turnover in business services

Varying results in business services

Within the business services sector, the picture varies in the second quarter. Companies active in travel, business consultancy and cleaning  performed best, and managed to increase turnover compared with twelve months previously. Temp agencies, advertising firms and architects on the other hand saw the largest falls in turnover.

Number of job vacancies extremely low

At the end of the second quarter there were 16.5 thousand job vacancies in business services.  This is the lowest number for ten years. 
The numbers of new and filled vacancies were also low: 26 thousand jobs fell open in the second quarter of 2013, and 26 thousand were filled. In the same period last year, 27 thousand vacancies were filled.

Job vacancies in business services

Job vacancies in business services

Record number of bankruptcies in business services

The number of bankruptcies in business services rose further in the second quarter. A total 460 businesses were pronounced bankrupt. This is higher than ever before, and 60 higher than in the first quarter. In 2012, 1,383 firms went out of business in the whole year.

Bankruptcies in business services

Bankruptcies in business services

Poorer economic climate and staff reductions in business services

According to the Business Sentiment survey, fewer companies in the business services sector than in the previous quarter felt that the economic climate had deteriorated. In spite of this, one fifth of companies in this sector reported that they thought the economic climate had deteriorated in the second quarter of 2013. Eighteen percent of businesses in the sector had reduced staff numbers. This was the second quarter in a row that the number of companies cutting staff had decreased. The businesses were still very negative about their order books: 29 percent said they had too few orders.

Opinions and developments of companies in business services

Opinions and developments of companies in business services

Lower turnover expected in third quarter

Providers of business services are pessimistic about the third quarter of 2013. The share of companies that expect the economic situation to deteriorate further has increased slightly. Five percent of them net also expect turnover to decrease , while prices are hardly expected to change. For employment, too, the outlook is bleaker than in the second quarter. A net 12 percent of businesses in the sector expect to have to reduce their staff.

Expectations for current quarter, business services

Expectations for current quarter, business services
For more statistics, see theme page Financial and business services.