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Growth prospects are strong for European SMEs

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The total employment in the EU by SMEs in 2013 is expected to have increased by 0.3 per cent with value-added growing by 1 per cent compared to 2012. What’s more, preliminary forecasts expect the positive developments to accelerate faster in 2014.

After five years of economic turmoil, 2013 is expected to be the first year since 2008 to see a combined increase in aggregated employment and value-added of European SMEs. 

“Our initiatives to help SMEs to make it through difficult times have paid off,” says European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani, who is responsible for industry and entrepreneurship. 

“After five years of sluggish development I am glad to see that SMEs are growing again. They are also starting to recruit more staff. Moreover, our indicators make it clear that SMEs can grow further in 2014. SMEs are the lifeblood of our economy as they are now dragging us out of the most severe crisis of EU economy in the past 50 years.”

Generally, the European Commission research shows that European SMEs were significantly more resilient than large enterprises at the beginning of the crisis. But as the crisis continued, SMEs became slower to recover.

The difference in performance of SMEs and large enterprises over the entire period of the crisis reflects the weakness in domestic demand, which is a key market driver for SMEs, while large enterprises benefited from a better export performance, the Commission says.

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