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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 9,500 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 8,000 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.

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September 2018 Stabilisation of SME business sentiment continues  (PDF, 138 KB, non-accessible)
Basic data set September 2018  (XLSX, 152 KB, non-accessible)
August 2018 SMEs’ optimism rebounds sharply  (PDF, 69 KB, non-accessible)
Basic data set August 2018  (XLSX, 151 KB, non-accessible)
July 2018 SMEs: satisfied but nervous about the future  (PDF, 115 KB, non-accessible)
Basic data set July 2018  (XLSX, 152 KB, non-accessible)
June 2018 German SMEs keep their cool as trade conflict intensifies  (PDF, 113 KB, non-accessible)
Basic data set June 2018  (XLSX, 149 KB, non-accessible)
May 2018 SME business sentiment: the euphoria is gone as downward risks increase  (PDF, 72 KB, non-accessible)
Basic data set May 2018  (XLSX, 150 KB, non-accessible)
April 2018 Reformed business climate indicator confirms continuing decline in sentiment  (PDF, 114 KB, non-accessible)
March 2018 Dark clouds on the horizon  (PDF, 78 KB, non-accessible)
February 2018 SME business confidence slips despite new record situation assessments  (PDF, 105 KB, non-accessible)
January 2018 SMEs start the new year on a high note  (PDF, 93 KB, non-accessible)
December 2017 Business climate: slight dip at the end of an outstanding year  (PDF, 130 KB, non-accessible)
November 2017 Breaking all records  (PDF, 125 KB, non-accessible)
October 2017 Confidence of both SMEs and large enterprises at an all-time high  (PDF, 124 KB, non-accessible)
September 2017 Going into autumn, German SMEs are in the best of moods  (PDF, 123 KB, non-accessible)
August 2017 SME business confidence reaches a plateau after rising fast  (PDF, 132 KB, non-accessible)
July 2017 Business climate at ever new heights  (PDF, 130 KB, non-accessible)
June 2017 Soaring confidence in a roaring economy  (PDF, 188 KB, non-accessible)
May 2017SME business sentiment: taking a breather after all-time high
April 2017Moving into spring at full speed
March 2017SME business sentiment is consolidating on a high level
February 2017Germany in high spirits thanks to SMEs
January 2017Worry lines have grown deeper since the start of the year
December 2016SME business confidence is up in December – and across the entire year 2016
November 2016Business climate: SMEs are only moderately impressed by Trump
October 2016Confidence of German SMEs is increasing in leaps and bounds – despite global risks
September 2016German SME business confidence brightened in sunny September
August 2016SMEs suddenly have the summer blues
July 2016SMEs react fairly calmly to Brexit shock
June 2016Brexit vote: German SMEs are well equipped for uncertain times
May 2016Spring is in the air for German SMEs
April 2016Businesses are stuck in a sober mood
March 2016Fears of an economic slowdown are easing slightly
February 2016Although concerns are growing, it is too early to throw in the towel
January 2016German businesses uneasy about world economy
December 2015German SMEs: mood slightly subdued as the year closes
November 2015Optimism is booming
October 2015SMEs remain calm despite bad news
September 2015Manufacturing pushes SME business sentiment down
August 2015German SMEs relaxed, large enterprises nervous
July 2015German SME business climate climbs to annual high
June 2015Unease in Europe causes disquit in SME sector
May 2015German SMEs' business climate improves further, but only sligthly
April 2015Spring is in the air for German SMEs
March 2015SME business climate marking time
February 2015German SMEs are cautiously optimistic
January 2015SMEs realistic at start of year
December 2014SMEs enter the new year with increased confidence
November 2014And breathe ...
October 2014SMEs facing downswing
September 2014Economy raising concerns
August 2014SMEs revise business expectations significantly downwards
July 2014Tensions unsettle SMEs less than large companies
June 2014Economic uncertainty on the rise
May 2014General sentiment: slower pace ahead
April 2014Buoyant mood amongst SMEs almost unchanged at start of spring
March 2014SMEs relatively unfazed by the Crimean crisis
February 2014Business climate: more realism, less optimism
January 2014SMEs optimistic at start of year
December 2013SMEs confident about 2014
November 2013SME business climate jumps to year high
October 2013SME business climate improves further
September 2013Stable business expectations among SMEs
August 2013Broad-based and strong improvement in business climate
July 2013Optimism among SMEs holding up
June 2013Confidence is returning – guardedly
May 2013SMEs: Scepticism sets in
April 2013Business climate for SMEs follows the negative trend
March 2013SMEs clearly more confident than large-scale enterprises
February 2013Confidence is growing by leaps and bounds
January 2013Gearing up for a rebound KfW-ifo SME Barometer