Report says EU SMEs led 2010 recovery from 2008/2009 recession
EU’s small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) remain the economic backbone of the Union and bolstered its economic recovery in 2010. They started to bounce back from the worst of the downturn in 2009, despite the challenging environment, according to a new Commission’s report to which JRC contributed.
The EU has more than 20 million SMEs. Most of these are micro-firms with less than 10 employees. They provide more than two thirds of all job opportunities in the private sector in the EU and 58 % of the total gross value-added. The number of SMEs remained stable in 2009-2010, despite the economic downturn. However, their combined gross value added was strongly affected by the slump (it fell by 6.4 % in 2009, grew by 3.4 % in 2010 and is expected to increase by 0.9 % in 2011).
The report is based on surveys carried out in 2010/2011, which draw on a set of 62 statistical indicators and cover the 27 EU Member States, as well as Albania, Croatia, FYR of Macedonia, Iceland, Israel, Liechtenstein, Norway, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey. The JRC's Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen (IPSC) assessed the conceptual and statistical coherence of the surveys and the modelling assumptions.
The report, "Are EU SMEs recovering from the crisis?" was launched on the occasion of the SME week of 3-9 October, taking place across Europe.