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Mon, 13 Feb, 2017 11:28:53 PM
FTimes-FNN Report, Feb 13

The outlook for the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) has increased significantly in the country, according to the results of the spring SME barometer published on Monday by the Federation of Finnish Enterprises, Finnvera and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.

“The outlook for SMEs is improving rapidly,” said Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä, according to a government press release.

This supports the view that our economy is turning into a growth path. Now more than 40 per cent of all SMEs and 88 per cent of the strongly growth-oriented SMEs are expecting a better economic outlook for the next year. A year ago this figure was 73 per cent. 

“The improved economic situation is also reflected in employment opportunities. Two-thirds of the growth-oriented enterprises intend to increase their staff. Expectations are the highest in the construction sector and knowledge-intensive services,” Lintilä said.

Measured by all indicators, the growth-oriented enterprises are more international than other SMEs. Of all SMEs 12 per cent engaged in exports, while among the growth-oriented enterprises this share was about a third. 

As many as 60 per cent of the growth-oriented enterprises plan to invest more in internationalisation during the next year.

About 26 per cent of all SMEs and 54 per cent of the strongly growth-oriented enterprises intend to seek external financing during the next year.

“We have taken various kinds of measures to improve the access to financing, but strongly growth-oriented enterprises still consider financing as a significant obstacle to developing their operations. We are trying to find means to further improve the situation,” the minister added.

The SME barometer, published twice a year, presents the outlook of small and medium-sized enterprises one year ahead. The results are based on replies that came from a total of 4 800 enterprises. The focus in the analysis was on the outlook of strongly growth-oriented enterprises.

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