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Euro debt crisis 2011 leaves European micro- and nanotechnology industry unfazed

The Euro debt crisis has left the microtechnology, nanotechnology and advanced materials industries largely unfazed so far.

Although business has not grown as much as the companies had expected in the beginning of 2011, still more than half of them have been able to increase orders, production and sales during the past year. This is a result of the economic data survey the IVAM Microtechnology Network has conducted in January and February 2012.

For 44% of the companies in the European microtechnology, nanotechnology and advanced materials industries, the business year 2011 has turned out better than they had expected in the beginning of the year. The order volume has grown in 57% of companies; 54% have been able to increase production; 52% have improved the sales figures.

However, financing is still a problem for many companies: only 16% of companies have received more funds in 2011 than in the previous year. Consequently, less than a third of companies (32%) had more money available for investments in 2011 than in the previous year.

Staff numbers have developed more positively in 2011 than in the years before, especially compared to 2009. Turnover has increased in 2011, too, though a little less than in 2010. In 2010, a large proportion of companies had been able to increase their turnover during the economic upswing.

Situation stable in 2012

In the wake of the Euro crisis, the business climate in the Euro zone has deteriorated since March 2011 according to the "Business Climate Indicator" (BCI) of the European Union. Since the end of the year it has been improving again. So probably the micro- and nanotechnology industry looks forward to 2012 with slightly lowered expectations for no apparent reason, thinking that business will grow a little less than in 2011.

A little less than half (45%) of responding companies expect that their business will continue to improve during 2012. Especially orders, production and sales are supposed to go up. Other business areas including export and financing are expected to remain stable. Only a quarter of companies are planning to increase investments in 2012.

Mona Okroy | idw
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