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KfW-ifo SME Barometer

Construction and interpretation of the KfW-ifo SME Barometer.

The KfW-ifo SME Barometer indicator family is based on a scale-of-enterprise evaluation of the ifo Business Survey, from which the well-known ifo Business Climate Index is calculated. Around 9,000 companies from the manufacturing, construction, wholesale, retail and services sectors (excluding financial services, insurance and government) are surveyed each month on their economic situation, including around 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 an analytically more significant evaluation, however, these quantitative limits have to be drawn more narrowly for retail trade (maximum annual turnover of EUR 12.5 million), construction (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. The KfW-ifo SME Barometer reports the balance of the assessments of the current business situation (percentage of positive answers less percentage of negative answers), the balance of business expectations for the next six months, calculated in the same way, and the inferred mean value of these two components as the business climate. Moreover, employment expectations, domestic sales price expectations and – solely for manufacturing – export expectations are reported as balance figures, in each case with an expectations horizon of three months. All time series are seasonally and mean adjusted. The zero line therefore marks the long-term 'cycle-neutral' average since January 2005. Indicator values above (or below) zero point to an above average or favourable (below average or negative) economic situation. Due to a fundamental concept reform in April 2018, publications on the KfW-ifo SME barometer before and from this date can only be compared with each other to a limited extent.

October 2023 SME business sentiment rose again for the first time since the spring
Basic data set October 2023
September 2023 SME business sentiment is bottoming out
Basic data set September 2023
August 2023 Business sentiment: Dry spell is getting longer and longer
Basic data set August 2023
July 2023 The mood at the start of the summer quarter has turned sour
Basic data set July 2023
June 2023 Business sentiment in freefall
Basic data set June 2023
May 2023 SME business sentiment: situation OK, expectations more pessimistic again
Basic data set May 2023
April 2023 SME sentiment in April: a mix of sunshine and rain
Basic data set April 2023
March 2023 SME business confidence improved further at the start of spring
Basic data set March 2023
February 2023 SMEs are more upbeat going into Lent
Basic data set February 2023
January 2023 The green shoot of optimism continues to grow
Basic data set January 2023
December 2022 Sentiment brightened at the end of the year
Basic data set December 2022
November 2022 SMEs have some hope again
Basic data set November 2022
October 2022 Have business expectations bottomed out?
Basic data set October 2022
September 2022 The recession has begun; business expectations are nearing their all-time low
Basic data set September 2022
August 2022 Muted sentiment, dismal outlook
Basic data set August 2022
July 2022 Serious recession concerns among SMEs
Basic data set July 2022
June 2022 Satisfactory business situation but great anxiety about what lies ahead
Basic data set June 2022
May 2022 Situation of SMEs is improving but fear of downturn is growing
Basic data set May 2022
April 2022 SMEs cautiously breathe a sigh of relief after war shock in March
Basic data set April 2022
March 2022 Attack on Ukraine has sent business expectations into a tailspin
Basic data set March 2022
February 2022 Sentiment improved strongly – but before Russia’s attack on Ukraine
Basic data set February 2022
January 2022 Optimism has grown again in the SME sector
Basic data set January 2022
December 2021 Omicron is clouding business sentiment and economic outlook for 2022
Basic data set December 2021
November 2021 SME business sentiment is in freefall
Basic data set November 2021
October 2021 SME business sentiment is stabilising, but supply bottlenecks remain a problem
Basic data set October 2021
September 2021 Supply shortages are temporarily slowing down the recovery
Basic data set September 2021
August 2021 Business sentiment drops as concerns are back
Basic data set August 2021
July 2021 Positive business situation but renewed concern about the pandemic among SMEs
Basic data set July 2021
June 2021 Economic indicators are turning green
Basic data set June 2021
May 2021 SME business sentiment: enterprises are ready for recovery
Basic data set May 2021
April 2021 Business sentiment: SMEs are putting up a brave fight
Basic data set April 2021
March 2021 Business sentiment jumps – advance praise for the economic rebound
Basic data set March 2021
February 2021 SME business confidence: a hint of spring
Basic data set February 2021
January 2021 SME business sentiment: retail in freefall, manufacturing steady
Basic data set January 2021
December 2020 SME business confidence was steady before the lockdown
Basic data set December 2020
November 2020 Lockdown 2.0 is hitting SMEs harder than large enterprises
Basic data set November 2020
October 2020 Worry lines in SMEs are deepening again
Basic data set October 2020
September 2020 SME business confidence has risen again
Basic data set September 2020
August 2020 Sentiment improvement in SMEs is losing steam
Basic data set August 2020
July 2020 SMEs are recovering – everything else depends on how the pandemic evolves
Basic data set July 2020
June 2020 SMEs are hoping for better times
Basic data set June 2020
May 2020 A sigh of relief!
Basic data set May 2020
April 2020 SMEs are now clearly in the throes of the coronavirus slump
Basic data set April 2020
March 2020 SME business confidence collapses under the strain of the coronavirus crisis
Basic data set March 2020
February 2020 SME business confidence not yet affected by coronavirus in February
Basic data set February 2020
January 2020 A subdued start to the year for German SMEs
Basic data set January 2020
December 2019 Despite minor bright spots at the end of the year, the road to a rebound is a long one
Basic data set December 2019
November 2019 SMEs are suspended in an economic no man’s land
Basic data set November 2019
October 2019 German SMEs report lower business situation assessments but the outlook is a bit less pessimistic
Basic data set October 2019
September 2019 Sentiment improves slightly among SMEs but not in large enterprises
Basic data set September 2019
August 2019 SMEs' resistance is weakening as mood turns sour
Basic data set August 2019
Juli 2019 SMEs are trending downward, manufacturers are alarmed
Basic data set July 2019
June 2019 More and more cracks are appearing in the key pillars of the economy
Basic data set June 2019
May 2019 Much gloom weighs on SME business climate but rays of hope can be seen
Basic data set May 2019
April 2019 SME business sentiment – as changeable as spring weather
Basic data set April 2019
March 2019 SMEs: Downturn in sentiment has bottomed out
Basic data set March 2019
February 2019 Deterioration of sentiment is spreading to more and more parts of the economy
Basic data set February 2019
January 2019 Rampant pessimism is spreading to Germany’s SME sector
Basic data set January 2019
December 2018 SMEs are feeling uneasy about the new year
Basic data set December 2018
November 2018 SMEs have the autumn blues
Basic data set November 2018
October 2018 SMEs had a golden October but large enterprises weathered autumn storms
Basic data set October 2018
September 2018 Stabilisation of SME business sentiment continues
Basic data set September 2018
August 2018 SMEs’ optimism rebounds sharply
Basic data set August 2018
July 2018 SMEs: satisfied but nervous about the future
Basic data set July 2018
June 2018 German SMEs keep their cool as trade conflict intensifies
Basic data set June 2018
May 2018 SME business sentiment: the euphoria is gone as downward risks increase
Basic data set May 2018
April 2018 Reformed business climate indicator confirms continuing decline in sentiment
March 2018 Dark clouds on the horizon
February 2018 SME business confidence slips despite new record situation assessments
January 2018 SMEs start the new year on a high note
December 2017 Business climate: slight dip at the end of an outstanding year
November 2017 Breaking all records
October 2017 Confidence of both SMEs and large enterprises at an all-time high
September 2017 Going into autumn, German SMEs are in the best of moods
August 2017 SME business confidence reaches a plateau after rising fast
July 2017 Business climate at ever new heights
June 2017 Soaring confidence in a roaring economy
May 2017 SME business sentiment: taking a breather after all-time high
April 2017 Moving into spring at full speed
March 2017 SME business sentiment is consolidating on a high level
February 2017 Germany in high spirits thanks to SMEs
January 2017 Worry lines have grown deeper since the start of the year
December 2016 SME business confidence is up in December – and across the entire year 2016
November 2016 Business climate: SMEs are only moderately impressed by Trump
October 2016 Confidence of German SMEs is increasing in leaps and bounds – despite global risks
September 2016 German SME business confidence brightened in sunny September
August 2016 SMEs suddenly have the summer blues
July 2016 SMEs react fairly calmly to Brexit shock
June 2016 Brexit vote: German SMEs are well equipped for uncertain times
May 2016 Spring is in the air for German SMEs
April 2016 Businesses are stuck in a sober mood
March 2016 Fears of an economic slowdown are easing slightly
February 2016 Although concerns are growing, it is too early to throw in the towel
January 2016 German businesses uneasy about world economy
December 2015 German SMEs: mood slightly subdued as the year closes
November 2015 Optimism is booming
October 2015 SMEs remain calm despite bad news
September 2015 Manufacturing pushes SME business sentiment down
August 2015 German SMEs relaxed, large enterprises nervous
July 2015 German SME business climate climbs to annual high
June 2015 Unease in Europe causes disquit in SME sector
May 2015 German SMEs' business climate improves further, but only sligthly
April 2015 Spring is in the air for German SMEs
March 2015 SME business climate marking time
February 2015 German SMEs are cautiously optimistic
January 2015 SMEs realistic at start of year
December 2014 SMEs enter the new year with increased confidence
November 2014 And breathe ...
October 2014 SMEs facing downswing
September 2014 Economy raising concerns
August 2014 SMEs revise business expectations significantly downwards
July 2014 Tensions unsettle SMEs less than large companies
June 2014 Economic uncertainty on the rise
May 2014 General sentiment: slower pace ahead
April 2014 Buoyant mood amongst SMEs almost unchanged at start of spring
March 2014 SMEs relatively unfazed by the Crimean crisis
February 2014 Business climate: more realism, less optimism
January 2014 SMEs optimistic at start of year
December 2013 SMEs confident about 2014
November 2013 SME business climate jumps to year high
October 2013 SME business climate improves further
September 2013 Stable business expectations among SMEs
August 2013 Broad-based and strong improvement in business climate
July 2013 Optimism among SMEs holding up
June 2013 Confidence is returning – guardedly
May 2013 SMEs: Scepticism sets in
April 2013 Business climate for SMEs follows the negative trend
March 2013 SMEs clearly more confident than large-scale enterprises
February 2013 Confidence is growing by leaps and bounds
January 2013 Gearing up for a rebound KfW-ifo SME Barometer