Business services monitor third quarter 2013

Turnover in the business services sector was smaller in the third quarter of 2013 than twelve months previously; the slight increase in turnover measured in the second quarter was unable to continue. The number of job vacancies in the sector was just as low as in the second quarter,  and the number of bankruptcies remained high. Business services providers were less pessimistic than earlier in the year, and also less pessimistic about the fourth quarter of 2013.

Turnover down for business services

Turnover in the business services sector was 0.3 percent lower in the third quarter of 2013 than in the same quarter last year. The decrease follows a small increase in the second quarter, and brings the fall in turnover in the first three quarters of this year to 0.4 percent . Turnover was significantly better in 2012: it grew by 1.7 percent in the first three quarters.

Year-on-year change in business services turnover

Year-on-year change in business services turnover

Most sectors in the red

Most branches within the business services sector saw their turnover fall in the third quarter.
In addition to architects, who experienced the largest decrease in turnover, businesses in photography and advertising also underwent a substantial dip in turnover. Other business services and temp agencies performed best; their turnover rose by 3.2 and 2.7 percent respectively compared to the previous year.

Slightly more vacancies than in the second quarter

At the end of the second quarter, there were 17 thousand job vacancies in business services.  Although this is slightly more than the previous quarter, the overall level of vacancies is at its lowest point for the last ten years. The numbers of new jobs and filled vacancies were also slightly higher than in the second quarter. In business services, 27 thousand vacancies opened up and 27 thousand were filled: 1,000 more than in the second quarter.

Job vacancies in business services

Job vacancies in business services

Record number of bankruptcies in business services

The number of bankruptcies in business services was just as high as in the previous quarter. A total 461 businesses were declared insolvent. In the first three quarters of 2013, bankruptcy affected almost 300 more businesses than in the same period in 2012.

Bankruptcies in business services

Bankruptcies in business services

Businesses less negative about economy, staff and orders

According to the Business Sentiment survey, fewer business services providers felt that the economic climate had deteriorated compared to the previous quarter: on balance only 5 percent thought things were worse. This was 20 percent in the second quarter. Eleven percent of businesses in the sector had to cut back on staff. This was the fourth quarter in a row that the number of companies cutting staff had decreased. Although businesses were still negative about their order books, fewer than in the previous quarter reported that order levels were too low.

Opinions and developments of companies in business services

Opinions and developments of companies in business services

Higher turnover and staff reductions expected in fourth quarter

Providers of business services are less pessimistic about the fourth quarter of 2013. On balance, only 1 percent of them expect the economic situation to deteriorate further. Many businesses expect the usual fourth quarter increase in turnover.

On the other hand, employers in business services are more pessimistic about employment. The net percentage of employers expecting to cut staff is 15 percent.  Few changes in selling prices are expected.

Expectations for current quarter, business services

Expectations for current quarter, business services

For more statistics, see theme page Financial and business services.