Economic research institute Ecostat's SME confidence index measured 51% in May, unchanged from April, but 11 percentage points higher than in May 2005.
According to a survey released by Ecostat on Tuesday, most managers at SMEs assessed the situation of their own companies as well as that of the country in a positive light. About 40% of managers said they expected the country's economic situation to improve and one-third said conditions would remain unchanged. Managers' short-term outlooks continue to fall, but more expected their situations to remain unchanged.
About 46% of managers said their companies would expand their activities in the coming six months: 22% said they saw an opportunity to cooperate with multinationals, up from 19% a month earlier. Just 19% of businesses anticipated worsening domestic sales, with 62% expecting unchanged sales. The ratio of SMEs planning investments continued to grow for the third month in a row, reaching 42%. About 45% of companies said they would need a loan to carry out these investments.