July 16, 2024

Taylor Daily Press

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Limburg traders fear sledgehammer blow – Made in

Limburg traders fear sledgehammer blow – Made in

Both retail and wholesale in Limburg are looking at the future very negatively. They call the last quarter frankly “dramatic”. The POL index of Unizo and VKW Limburg also shows that positive developments in employment, exports and even profit margins are expected in all sectors.

Every quarter, VKW and Unizo Limburg send out a survey to a representative sample of Limburg companies. This POL, short for Polsslag Ondernemend Limburg, assesses the past period and looks ahead to the coming months. The latest survey reveals some surprising results. For example:

– The service sector is almost the only one with a positive mood. Wholesale and retail trade is very negative about the future. The manufacturing sector is the most catching up.

– Some additional job opportunities are expected in the services and construction sectors. Overall, a quarter of entrepreneurs are considering additional hiring, while only 13% want to operate with fewer people in the coming months.

– Investment prospects are still poor and will weaken further in the next quarter. Despite the expectation of better profit margin, most entrepreneurs are not yet thinking about opening their investment portfolio.

– It is mainly the slightly larger companies that feel optimistic. Companies with fewer than 20 employees see a bleak future.

“We see a cautious move forward overall, although those who voted negatively still form the majority,” say Bart Lodewijks (UNIZO Limburg) and Robin Lemmens (VKW Limburg). “There are signs that things will improve after the summer, although many indicators are still on a rough terrain.” For example: Sales volume, investments and profit margins are increasing, but they remain negative. Exports were the strongest and the first to cross the zero line in the last quarter.

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Based on the results, Lemmens and Lodewijks make an appeal: “It is now more than a month since the elections and the political drama associated with them. What we urgently need now is a strong policy at European, federal and Flemish level. Cooperation across political party lines is essential in this regard. At Unizo and VKW Limburg, we find constructive cooperation between politics and business very important. Only by working together can we achieve reforms that support and strengthen entrepreneurs.”