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SME confidence falls to 2009 levels in Q1

K&H Bank's SME confidence index fell 10 points to -20 in Q1, dropping for the third quarter in a row to return to its level in Q3 2009, the bank said on Thursday.

More companies expect their tax burden to grow and more say European Union funding will be more difficult to access. SME managers expect the cost of credit to grow.

Just 11% of managers said government measures taken in the first months of the year would improve their companies' competitiveness.

Of ten business factors gauged for the survey, only planned new hires improved. The percentage of companies that plan to raise headcount rose one percentage point to 23%.

K&H Bank prepared the survey with market research company GfK on March 3-10.