For the first time in several years businesspeople in Europe rather are optimistic about the coming year, and this particularly holds true for the Baltic countries and Finland, the results of a survey taken by the Association of European Chambers of Commerce (Eurochambres) show.
Estonian entrepreneurs are more optimistic about the future than in a similar survey in 2012, with almost 60 percent of the entrepreneurs interviewed predicting an increase in sales. Six percent believe that sales will decline and slightly over one-third expect sales to be on a par with 2013, the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry said.
As regards exports, 51.5 percent of the entrepreneurs interviewed believe that export will increase and 7.4 percent are of the opinion that it will decline. Forty-four percent of entrepreneurs hope domestic sales to grow.
Entrepreneurs expect the overall situation of the economy to remain the same next year as in 2013. A quarter of the respondents believe it to improve, while one in five think it will deteriorate. Respondents seeing an increase in investments ahead made up 32 percent, with 50 percent expecting the level of investments to remain unchanged and 16.4 percent believing it to decline.
The director general of the Chamber of Commerce, Mait Palts, said the outcome of the survey this year reveals a more optimistic mood than last year, which hasn’t been very much the case in recent years. “We know that the Baltics are feeling more secure in comparison with other countries. At the same time, the problems that the whole Europe is fighting, we’re fighting them too,” he said.
“In Europe unemployment is causing concern. At the same time, comparing the indicators for Europe and Estonia, we are more optimistic in that too and tend to be concerned about the shortage of skilled people instead. Almost 30 percent of Estonian entrepreneurs are of the opinion that new people will be hired next year and two-thirds forecast that the number of employees at their company will remain the same,” Palts said.
The survey based on responses from more than 59,000 entrepreneurs suggests that while sales volumes could grow next year, businesses remain cautious in their outlooks as regards employment and investments.
In the annual survey conducted for the 21st time, entrepreneurs from Lithuania were the most confident about their future and entrepreneurs from Cyprus the most insecure.
In Estonia respondents numbered 252, of whom 231 are exporting companies.
Source: BNS / Estonian Review
Filed under: Economy in general, Entrepreneurship | Leave a comment »