Jan Oostveen, EFAMRO’s Director General, highlights the key results from the latest wave of the EFAMRO Moodindicator:
European research businesses are currently rather optimistic regarding the revenue development of their businesses in 2017. Overall the markets in Europe seem to be in good shape, much better that the last few years. There are a few exceptions.
The markets in Switzerland and Italy are struggling with domestic economic issues significantly affecting the health of the national research markets. In Finland there is less optimism as well, but we have to be aware just a small number of businesses participated in the study.
The results are based on the spring 2017 EFAMRO Moodindicator. Twice each year EFAMRO is measuring the sentiment in the research industry in Europe. Though the sample base and response rates are relatively, the results give a good indicator of the development of the European research industry.
Currently in almost all participant countries the majority of the business owners and managers expect the revenue of their business to grow in 2017. Norway, Spain and the Netherlands are the most positive. In Norway optimism is on a relatively high level, considerably better than in previous years.
The southern European countries suffered most during the post-2008 economic crisis. Up to 2013 there was much pessimism in Spain, Italy and Portugal. Since early 2014 recovery seemed to occur, with optimism increasing. In Spain and Portugal where the GDP is growing, optimism is now on a high level and still increasing, while in Italy the national economy is stagnating and the expectations of business managers and owners are rather pessimistic.
Red is on balance negative, green positive
In the UK business managers have been optimistic for a long time. Just after the Brexit referendum there was a decline in the sentiment due to the uncertainty related to the UK leaving the EU, but in 2017 the managers seems to have more confidence.
Since mid 2016 there seems to be a major change in the sentiment in the Russian research market. After three years of dominant pessimism (2014-2016), business managers are in 2017 in a quite positive mood, and the positive mood shown in Q4 2016 continues.
The sentiment in Switzerland however is quite negative; at its lowest level in three years. This may be related to the economic situation including challenges with the Swiss currency. The Swiss economy did not grow in the second half of 2016 and the growth was very limited in Q1 2017. Some countries such as Finland vary very much between waves of the EFAMRO Moodindicator. This may be caused by the lower response rates from in Finland.
Research managers have also been asked about their expectations regarding their national research market. As always, businesses in most of the countries are considerably more optimistic about the development of their own organisation than about the development of the industry in their countries. Anyhow, almost all business owners and managers expect their national research industry to be stable or grow slightly in 2017.
The last few years it has been noticed the results of the EFAMRO Moodindicator regarding the research industry in EU countries, are correlated to the ESI, the EU Economic sentiment indicator. Since the spring wave of the EFAMRO Moodindicator, the ESI has been increasing, a good indication of continuing or even increasing optimism.
In autumn EFAMRO will conduct a new wave of the Moodindicator.