A partial and fragile recovery – Annual Report on European SMEs 2013/14 – October 2014

Sector: Business analytics | Competition, Regulation and Business | Productivity, Innovation and New Economy | Public Policy
Client: EC DG Enterprise and Industry
Published: 06 October, 2014
Document type: Report 
Tagged: EC/EEA forecasting quantitative analysis

The 2014 report provides an overview of the size, structure and importance of SMEs to the European economy and their contribution to growth and jobs. Comparisons with important partner countries outside the EU and with the large enterprise sector are also included.

The pace of recovery of SMEs has slowed in the last three years. While there are some reasons for cautious optimism, conditions remain extremely tough for SMEs and further support is needed to yield sustainable SME growth. The recovery is still both partial and fragile. At the EU level, by 2013, SMEs had recovered to pre-crisis levels only in terms of value added, while employment in 2013 was still 2.6% below levels registered in 2008. In 2013, for SMEs in the non-financial business sector, value added increased by 1.1%, while employment decreased by 0.5% and the number of enterprises decreased by 0.9%. The overall picture, however, does not portray the considerable variations among size classes, sectors and Member States. The Annual Report reviews these differences in detail. The outlook is somewhat positive and a strengthened recovery is on the horizon. Total value added generated by SMEs is forecasted to rise by 2.8% in 2014 and 3.4% in 2015. Employment in SMEs is also forecasted to rise, with another 740,000 jobs.