European Commission, (2013), “European business cycle indicators”, 2nd Quarter 2013.
Apart from useful tools for the assessment of the overall economic picture, the EU-wide harmonised survey programme for the business sector also provides more granular information about the factors underlying managers’ assessment of the business situation. Questions on ‘factors limiting production’ allow to investigate the sources of potential limitations to business activity, e.g. whether they are rooted in the demand or the supply side of the economy. Coming out of the financial crisis, the importance of the financial factor, i.e. the percentage of managers reporting financial constraints as a limiting factor for their business, is of particular interest. The country analysis points to important differences across countries. As expected, the percentage of firms facing financial constraints increased in Greece, Cyprus, Portugal, Spain and Italy, while it remained relatively stable in France and Germany.