The latest, 12th Pekao Bank report shows that the situation of small and medium-sized enterprises has improved compared to the previous one in 2020. The General Economic Indicator of Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises, measuring the sentiment of entrepreneurs, amounted to 93.9 points in the analyzed term. This is better than in the previous survey but to the record result of 102.6 points for 2019, there is still a lot to do. A large increase in the indicator was observed in the following voivodeships: Lubusz (+4.61 points), Warmian-Masurian (+4.30 points), Podlaskie (+3.75 points), and Greater Poland (+3.45 points). The entrepreneurs also better assess the condition of the Polish economy and the general situation in their industry.
More than a year has passed since the publication of the previous edition of the Pekao Bank report on the condition of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. Last year’s edition was a portrait of this sector plunged into a crisis related to the pandemic. After the record result of 102.6 points in 2019, (on a scale of 50-150 points), the result for 2020 fell below the “neutral” threshold of 100 points and amounted to only 91.4 points. After the initial term of shock adjustment to the new reality, the economy could start catching up only in the following year.
Indeed, the General Economic Indicator for 2021 was, according to the estimates included in last year’s report, to reach the value of 94.5 points. The actual result – 93.9 points – confirms the correctness of these forecasts, but simultaneously signals that the micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises sector in Poland is not in the best condition. However, the entrepreneurs are slightly more optimistic about the future – the General Economic Indicator for the next 12 months amounted to 95.7 points, while for the last 12 months (the entrepreneurs compare today’s situation to that from a year ago) it was only 92.0 points.
The latest edition of the Pekao Bank report on the situation of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in Poland in 2021-2022 is a study on several topics important for this sector: economic growth, prospects for consumption and investment growth, the situation in the labor market and wages, and, of course, inflation. All statistical data contained in the study can be conveniently analyzed, both at the level of regions and subregions, through industry or company size.
Thus, the best economic situation in the country was recorded in the construction sector, while the worst – was in the commercial sector, which was still the most severely affected by the consequences of pandemic regulations and restrictions. The correlation between the size of the company and its statistical General Economic Indicator, which has been observed for several years, also persists.
The medium-sized companies are doing their best, as they are the only ones that broke above the neutrality, scoring 101.6 points. In the case of small companies it is 94.4 points, and for micro-enterprises – 93.8 points.
At the time of preparing the report, the surveyed entrepreneurs were optimistic about the coming year. However, it should be remembered that the situation both in the national and international arena is changing very dynamically.
“A difficult situation can always be perceived as a challenge leading to the development of new solutions,” – says Magdalena Zmitrowicz, Vice President of Pekao Bank, Managing the Corporate Banking Division. “That is why we appreciate more the participation of such a large group of entrepreneurs in the preparation of the report. In-depth interviews consisting of open questions allowed us to better understand the situation of the micro, small and medium-sized enterprises sector in Poland and are a perfect complement to the quantitative data we have collected”.
Traditionally, the report has, in addition to the general section, also a section devoted to a specific topic. This time it reads: “A sine wave of moods – overshadowed by new challenges.” The title refers to the growing catalog of factors negatively affecting the economy, the increase in uncertainty among entrepreneurs, and the anxiety of employees. The growing amplitude of this sine wave is the result of, among others, rising inflation, interest rate increases, and changes in the labor market. The authors of the report conducted almost seven thousand conversations with entrepreneurs, each with the same set of questions, e.g. about the pressure to increase wages from employees or about the plans for the future. Such a large-scale study allowed us to obtain a very interesting and at the same time relatively complete picture of the “sine wave of moods”.
The report would not be complete without talking to experts – economists or academic lecturers. To the quantitative analysis, the results of which are divided into regions and subregions, an analytical part has been added, which allows for a more complete understanding of the information contained. The publication of the latest report coincides with an extremely difficult time for Poland and Europe: it is expected that another wave of coronavirus will hit in the autumn, and Russia’s attack on Ukraine will affect not only Poland but also the entire continent.
“This year’s edition of the report meets special needs,” – says Dominika Byrska, Director of the Products and Lending Processes Office at Pekao Bank. “The tense, complicated situation, both domestically and globally, creates a natural need for entrepreneurs, economists, and analysts to have accurate, comprehensively collected, and compiled information. I am sure that the latest Pekao Bank report meets this need in the micro, small and medium-sized enterprises sector. Pekao Bank is one of the institutions that want to have as accurate data as possible on this subject to provide the highest quality of services to its customers from this sector and to understand their needs in the best possible way,” – she adds.
Pekao Bank`s report has been prepared every year for 12 years. The research covers micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises, i.e. those that employ up to 249 people. The full text of the report can be found on the website: https://www.pekao.com.pl/raport-msp/ (in Polish).
Source: the Bank`s press release dated August 29, 2022