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2021 revenue should be even better than anticipated last May
Having suffered a significant shock in 2020, SMEs are counting on an average +7% rise in their turnover in 2021, higher growth than anticipated last May (+2.8%). The balance of opinion on the evolution in turnover is at its highest since 2007. Seeing a healthy pick-up in business, SMEs are continuing to recruit, leading 82% of them to declare difficulties experienced in recruiting the staff they need.
The cash-flow situation of SMEs has been strengthened
Assessment of the cash flow situation has reached a peak not seen since the creation of the survey. 65% of SMEs now judge their cash flow sufficient in view of the crisis (versus 63% last May and 53% 1 year ago). Only 1.5% declare that they face insurmountable difficulties. In a context of gradual withdrawal of the support measures, high prices for inputs and transport costs, SMEs are nevertheless cautious regarding the future evolution of their cash flow.
State-guaranteed loan still very largely a financial reserve
Of the SMEs having taken out a state-guaranteed loan, 52% say they have spent little of it (22%) or indeed none of it (30%). 37% will have repaid their loans, at least partially, by the end of this year 2021. Only 5% of respondents fear not being able to repay their loans, a proportion close to that observed last May (4%).
Investment upturn, particularly in Industry
47% of companies invested in 2021, or intend to do so by the end of the year, a significantly higher proportion than in 2020 (41% in November 2020 for the year 2020) but still below the levels prior to the crisis. Investment appears to have been particularly dynamic in Industry, with 61% of SMEs declaring having invested this year, the highest proportion of the major business sectors and above pre-crisis levels. The indicator relating to the evolution in amounts invested has risen markedly, by +28 points over a year to stand at +7, and has found its level of November 2019 again. SMEs report fewer obstacles to investment than last year.
The recovery should continue in 2022. At this stage, the supply difficulties have not made a significant impact on companies’ optimism
Supply difficulties, which have affected 65% of SMEs (92% in Industry), could compromise the strength of the recovery. However, at this stage, companies remain confident for 2022. The balance of opinion on the expected development of business has risen very sharply (+28 points over 1 year to +31). 66% of SMEs should have returned to a normal level of business by the end of the year 2022, a proportion nevertheless lower than last May (74%). Companies also intend to step up their recruitment and investment in 2022.
- 7% expected growth in turnover for 2021, versus 3% anticipated in May 2021
- 91% Share of SMEs not having encountered difiiculties in financing their cash flow, up by 1 point over one year
- 52% Share of SMEs that declare they have spent less than half of their state-guaranteed loan, 5% fear being unable to pay it back
- 65% Share of SMEs that consider their cash flow sufficient to face up to the crisis, they stood at 63% 6 months ago and 53% 1 year ago
- 43% Share of SMEs encountering serious recruitment difficulties, a rise of 8 points in 6 months
- 65% Share of SMEs encountering supply difficulties, 92% in Industry, 90% in Construction
CONTENT OF THE SURVEY
- Revenue and employment
- Financial situation, access to credit and capital expenditure
- Outlook for 2022