Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Europe - Eurochambres Economic Survey 2005

As reported in a recent Press Release, the Economic Survey 2005 (EES 2005) of the European economy has been released by Eurochambres, "The Association of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry represent[ing] 43 national associations of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, a European network of 2000 regional and local Chambers with over 18 million member enterprises in Europe." The survey, which is based on results from 76,000 companies, is entitled "The Business Climate in Europe's Regions in 2005: European Analysis" and is the 12th edition of this Eurochambres survey.

The press release reports that:

"EUROCHAMBRES’ Economic Survey for 2005 indicates a moderate economic recovery. While business confidence of European companies decreased slightly compared to last year, all other indicators – total turnover, including domestic and export sales, employment, and investment – are at higher levels."

Christoph Leitl, President of EUROCHAMBRES stated in this regard that:

"Although actual European growth remains sluggish, the businesses that responded to this survey clearly anticipate a strengthening global economy. However, high commodity prices and the unstable euro/dollar exchange rate put at risk this economic recovery. It is also noteworthy that the optimistic outlook is most strongly felt in the new Member States."

The survey itself states as follows concerning the Member States of the European Union:

"On the new EU members’ side, almost all the countries see an increase in business confidence levels for 2005. The countries that see the biggest increase in comparison with last year are the three Baltic countries [Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania]."

Among the EU Member States, expectations for investment, employment, and domestic sales are highest in Latvia, which also has the highest business confidence expectation level for 2005.

Economic expectations are more subdued in the older EU Member States:

"Companies in the 'old' EU Member States (EU-14) are less confident about their future than last year (net balance for 2005 is 19.8 vs 22.6 for 2004)."

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