SMEs are worried about the economy

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Flemish entrepreneurs are worried about the economic situation.

10 December 2007 - Flemish entrepreneurs are worried about the economic situation. This is one of the conclusions of the three-monthly barometer by Unizo (Unie van Zelfstandige Ondernemers) a Flemish organization of Self-Employed and Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SME).
The barometer is composed of the answers of a questionnaire filled in by 700 SMEs. Noteworthy in the latest barometer is the decline in optimism about the general economic situation in Flanders. (Belga) The business leaders are worried about the increase in inflation and the cost of food and oil products.

This has also had a negative consequence on consumer confidence.

Regarding the current situation and expectations of the individual companies, the entrepreneurs are more optimistic.

In many companies employment has increased and the order books continue to be well filled. Late payments are also slightly down.

The SME barometer also reveals that business leaders are worried about the political situation. Negotiations to form a federal government after the June 10 elections are still proceeding with difficulties. (Belga) "Influence of political crisis exaggerated"
However, Karel Van Eetvelt (photo), the head of Unizo, insists that there is no reason for the business world to be worried.

"We see that the companies continue to do good business and that the political crisis has had little real influence. I have the impression that many people exaggerate the impact politics have on the economy."

Last week Belgium's National Bank warned of the negative consequences of the political impasse on the economy. According to Mr. Van Eetvelt this is "scaremongering".

"We should make a clear distinction between objective and subjective elements. The rising inflation influences the economy, but the political crisis doesn't."

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