Drop in SME production

Two workers load a delivery vehicle.

(22.02.2023) Despite a reported recovery of the Swiss economic environment, the situation is still tense for SMEs at the start of the year. The Raiffeisen SME PMI stood at 48 in January 2023, below the expansion threshold and down 2.5 points compared to December 2022.

For the first time since January 2022, the index fell sharply into the contraction zone. While energy prices have eased and the possibility of an economic meltdown in the European economies in 2023 has been ruled out, inflation and high interest rates still cast a shadow over the outlook for SMEs.

After a slight rebound in December (53.4), the production subcomponent decreased significantly to 47.6 points. Orders also fell slightly by 0.3 points to 47 due to relatively weak demand.

For the first time in two years, the delivery times subcomponent fell below the expansion threshold to 49.9, while inventories of goods, boosted last year by the incentive to stockpile due to shortages, also fell to 52.4 points.

The employment subcomponent rose above the 50 mark (51.4) after three consecutive months in the contraction zone. For the time being, however, it continues to stagnate.

The year 2023 will bring many challenges for SMEs, which are generally more vulnerable than large companies. Their sources of supply are often less diversified, making them vulnerable to bottlenecks. They also have limited reserves and are therefore less able to withstand economic fluctuations such as the energy crisis. Finally, the shortage of skilled labor affects SMEs to a greater extent than large companies.


Last modification 22.02.2023

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