The reason for the vast decline is the pessimistic business sentiment among the ICT service providers comprising enterprises of the branches software and IT-services, ICT-specialized trade as well as telecommunication services. The partial indicator reflecting the sentiment among ICT service providers fell to 46.9 points in the third quarter 2008. Therefore it lies below the critical value of 50 points, which indicates a deteriorating business sentiment compared to the previous quarter. "The rather cautious sentiment at the moment is above all due to the decrease in turnover and demand", says Jenny Meyer, researcher at the Centre for European Economic Research, Mannheim. The partial indicator which reflects the assessment of the current business situation reached 44.5 points.
However, not only do the ICT service providers asses the current situation as negative, they also do not expect the situation to improve in the fourth quarter 2008. The number of ICT service providers expecting demand and turnover to increase fell compared to the previous quarter. The partial indicator which reflects the assessment of the business expectations fell to 49.4 points. This is the result of a business survey conducted by the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), Mannheim, in cooperation with the credit reference agency Creditreform, Neuss, in September 2008 (details regarding the survey are provided below).
The bleak sentiment among ICT service providers derives from two factors. On the one hand the enterprises of the branches software and IT services and ICT-specialised trade assess their situation less positive. On the other hand the telecommunication services sector evaluates the business development more negative.
The business sentiment among knowledge-intensive service providers, which include enterprises of the branches tax consultancy and accounting, management consultancy, architecture, technical consultancy and planning, research and development as well as advertising, only showed a slight decrease. The sentiment indicator for the knowledge-intensive services' sector lost 6.3 points compared to the second quarter 2008, thus falling to 61.4 points. This shows that the knowledge- intensive service providers asses their business situation less positive than in the previous quarter, but the value still indicates a positive sentiment. In this sector the partial indicators of the current business situation and business expectations reached the same level. Both take on the value of 61.4 points.
Information on the ZEW Indicator of IT-related service providers (ZEW-IDI)
The ZEW-IDI is calculated on the basis of the four following components: current turnover and demand, as well as expected turnover and expected demand (each compared to the preceding respectively succeeding quarter). All of them are weighted equally in the calculation. Current turnover and demand form a partial indicator which reflects the business situation. Turnover expectations and demand expectations form a partial indicator which reflects business expectations. The geometric mean of the business situation and the business expectations equals the value of the ZEW-IDI. The sentiment indicator can take on values from 0 to100. Values exceeding 50 hint at an improvement of the business situation compared to the previous quarter, values less than 50 hint at a worsening compared to the previous quarter.
The business survey by ZEW/Creditreform
About 1000 firms participate in this quarterly survey. The economic sector IT-related service providers comprises the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) service providers (firms in the branches of software and IT services, ICT-specialised trade as well as telecommunication services) and knowledge intensive service providers (firms in the branches of tax consultancy and accounting, management consultancy, architecture, technical consultancy and planning, research and development as well as advertising). An overview of the ZEW/Creditreform business survey is provided on the ZEW project site. For further information in German language only, please consult our homepage.
Remark on projection
To generate a representative analysis, ZEW is projecting the answers of the firms participating in the survey with their shares of total turnover realized in the sector of the German IT related service providers.
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