KfW SME Panel
KfW SME Panel 2018
No sign of letting up: SMEs are on a path of growth in Germany and abroad
Germany’s SMEs continue to grow at a high rate. Employment in small and medium-sized enterprises has broken yet another record. Turnovers have grown at a rate not seen in years. International business also appears to have recovered from its slump. But profitability and productivity are unable to keep up. The investment upswing is consolidating but comes with greater concentration, as higher volumes are distributed across fewer investors. Micro-businesses in particular have stepped up investment and are using more long-term bank loans than ever. However, demand for credit to finance investment appears to have passed its zenith and companies are using more of their financial cushions. Should the financing climate become tougher, SMEs are in the best possible position thanks to record equity levels. Their outlook is therefore very positive. These and other findings are detailed in the new KfW SME Panel 2018.
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.