Sentiment indicator for service providers of the information society falls to all-time low

Service Providers of the Information Society

(lifePR) ( Mannheim, )
The ZEW-IDI, a sentiment indicator for the whole sector service providers of the information society comprising both the ICT service providers and knowledge-intensive service providers, fell to 52.3 points in the third quarter 2008. This is the lowest value the indicator has seen since it was established in the fourth quarter 2003. 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 Contact: Kathrin Böhmer Phone: +49 (0)621/1235-103 E-Mail: boehmer@zew.de 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 knowledgeintensive 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.

The business survey by ZEW/Creditreform:

About 1000 firms participate in this quarterly survey. The economic sector service providers of the information society comprises the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) service providers (firms in the branches of computer service and leasing, 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 http://www.zew.de/en/forschung/projekte.php3?action=detail&nr=107&abt=ikt. For further information in German language only, please consult our homepage at www.zew.de/dienstleister.

Remark on projection:

To generate a representative analysis, the 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 service providers of the information society.
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