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KfW-ifo Credit Constraint Indicator

Construction and interpretation of the KfW-ifo Credit Constraint Indicator. The Credit Constraint Indicator has been surveyed on a quarterly basis since 2017 as part of the ifo economic surveys following a methodological revision. Credit constraint shows the percentage of enterprises that describe banks’ position in loan negotiations as ‘restrictive’. In order to ensure that estimates of banks’ lending propensity are based on enterprises’ original experiences, only those enterprises are surveyed that previously reported having conducted loan negotiations with banks in the preceding three months. The development of this percentage can then be interpreted as an indicator of changes in demand for bank loans.

The evaluation of the survey findings for the KfW-ifo Credit Constraint Indicator is broken down by size classes and sectors. Each month about 9,000 enterprises from trade and industry, construction, wholesale, retail and services (without the banking and insurance sectors or the state) are polled on their business situation, among them some 7,500 SMEs. Enterprises are generally classed as small to medium-sized if they employ a workforce of not more than 500 and record an annual turnover not exceeding EUR 50 million. For a more accurate analysis, however, these quantitative distinctions have to be drawn more narrowly for retail trade (maximum annual turnover of EUR 12.5 million), the building and the construction industry (up to 200 employees) and services (maximum annual turnover of EUR 25 million). All enterprises that exceed at least one of these thresholds are classed as large-scale enterprises.

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