KfW SME Panel
KfW SME Panel 2019
After a record year, dark clouds are gathering – SMEs between all-time highs and recession fears
Last year was again characterised by all-time highs for Germany’s SMEs (‘Mittelstand’). Employment in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) broke another record, turnovers continued to soar and investment increased again. The KfW SME Panel 2019 also reveals that enterprises were more successful than ever in loan negotiations. Borrowing preferences once again shifted towards long-term bank loans. SMEs continue on the path of growth in 2019 but the momentum is clearly slowing. As the economic outlook dims, SMEs’ recession fears are growing – if on a high level for the time being. Overall, businesses face a year of uncertainty.
The KfW SME Panel (KfW-Mittelstandspanel) is the first and so far only representative longitudinal data set covering all small and medium‑sized enterprises in Germany. A unique feature of the dataset is that it even allows calculations for micro enterprises with fewer than five employees. The data of the KfW SME Panel are collected via a repeat written survey of small and medium‑sized enterprises (SMEs) in Germany with an annual turnover not exceeding EUR 500 million. According to this definition, there are almost 3.6 million SMEs in Germany. The different waves of the KfW SME Panel contain between 9,000 and 15,000 observations and include information on firms' investment and innovation activities as well as firm characteristics, such as the number of employees and sales for the current and the previous year, share of skilled employees, industry and finance.