Greek small enterprises are “fragile optimistic” over economic developments in the country in the next six months, a survey by GSEBEE showed on Thursday.
The survey by GSEBEE’s research institute showed that a 3.0 pct of small enterprises expected to terminate operations in the next three months, or 8,500 business closures with a loss of 20,000 job positions.
George Kavvathas, president of GSEBEE, presenting the survey during a news conference said that although a negative dynamism of expectations which prevailed in the previous years seemed to slowdown, it was the will and ability of the new government to implement policies and to introduce measures which will boost the real economy, business activity, investments, liquidity and employment which would determine a change in economic climate in the country.
“Businesses remained very cautious over their economic outlook as liquidity and investment environment, two of their biggest problems, have not yet been resolved. This insecurity is feeding largely current lower levels of employment in the country,” Kavvathas said, adding that the government had to plan and implement rapidly realistic solutions addressing current challenges faced by small enterprises.
The survey showed that turnover fell by 13 pct in the 12-month period from February 2014 to February 2015. The survey, which was conducted in cooperation in Marc SA on a sample of 1,009 very small and small enterprises in the period February 17-26, showed that only one in four enterprises reported profits last year, while a 37.3 pct reported losses. Bigger enterprises (higher turnover and workforce) recorded a better performance. A 53.2 pct of enterprises said their turnover will fall in the six-month period, along with demand (55.2 pct) and new orders (58.9 pct). Turnover is down 77 pct since the crisis began, with the commerce sectors suffering the heaviest losses.
A 62.4 pct of enterprises said liquidity conditions worsened, while only a 12.1 pct made new investments. Business expectations over the next six months showed some improvement with a balance of positive/negative expectations falling to 31.4 pct from 56.1 pct in the previous survey of July 2014.
Another problem facing small enterprises was their fixed inability to escape from a trap of very high tax and social insurance obligations. A 38.1 pct of enterprises had overdue debt to pension funds and a 31.9 pct had overdue debt to tax agencies, while more than 20 pct said they would not be able to meet their tax obligations in 2015.
The dismissal/hiring ratio was 1:1.1 in the next six months, down from 1:1.6 in February 2014, a sign that employment outlook remained bleak.
The survey said that the results from Sunday’s opening of shops were disappointing, with only 4.0 pct of enterprises recording an increase in turnover due to Sunday’s opening.