Despite the challenges ahead, Swedish industry continues to stand strong.
During this year's Elmia Subcontractor, Sinf presented the Subcontractor Barometer for the third quarter of 2021, showing a quarterly result with positive figures compared to the same period last year.
- Subcontractors continue to deliver, but there are many challenges that companies expect will have a direct impact on turnover in the coming quarters, says Sinf's CEO Sanna Arnfjorden Wadström.
Growth in turnover during the third quarter has increased by 53% and companies are showing a great adaptability despite numerous challenges that have hit the industry hard.
Swedish subcontractors are doing well. Despite the challenges ahead, Swedish industry continues to stand strong. It is the strongest third quarter we have had in four years. 51% of subcontractors say they expect an increase in new orders during Q4.
55% of subcontractors percieve that we are in a boom period and, of these, a significant 76% believe that the economy will not slow down in the next six months.
- The fact that the figures for quarter three have been the best since 2017 shows the potential and strength existing within Swedish companies that needs to be much better exploited. The Swedish economy is recovering quickly thanks to the industry's ability to adapt despite pandemics, supply problems and semiconductor and raw material shortages, says Sinf's CEO Sanna Arnfjorden Wadström. In a series of meetings with key decision-makers, the talk is of material shortages but nothing happens. We continue this way, continues Sanna. The shortage of materials continues to be a huge issue for Swedish industry, with 75 per cent of companies reporting a shortage of materials in the previous quarter. In the third quarter, the figure has risen to 84%. Furthermore, six out of ten say they expect the materials shortage to affect turnover by -10% in the coming quarter. 21% estimate that the materials shortage will affect turnover by -20% or more.
- This is alarming! Companies need capital for the major technological transformation that is happening right now in the form of Industry 4.0 with automation, digitalisation and electrification. In addition, electricity prices are sky high, which means that profitability is now being strongly affected. Profitability is absolutely crucial for the future growth of companies. 35% say that they have seen an increase in profitability compared to the previous year, which is a decrease of 11% compared to the previous survey. Twice as many have a decrease in profitability, the figure is now 25%. Strong government action is needed to enable smaller companies to invest more in Swedish development and innovation. Businesses need large investments in expensive machinery and face challenges with financing. Current business loans are insufficient and too expensive, says Sanna Arnfjorden Wadström.
33% of the responding companies say they feel that customers are moving production home. As a result of the pandemic, 73% say they have experienced delays or cancellations of deliveries from abroad and 65% within Sweden.
The Barometer also shows:
- 25% of companies have been victims of some form of crime in the last three years.
- 38% of these offences concern fraudulent invoices. As many as 19 per cent are cybercrimes.
- 23% of businesses find it difficult to protect their business from crime.
- Our lawyers receive a lot of questions about scam invoices and cybercrime has been a hot topic since last summer. The fact that one in five businesses has been affected by cybercrime is worrying. It is important to secure systems and to have good working practices in all companies today. An action plan on cyber security and access to expertise is also important to prevent and protect the business against such attacks”, concludes Sanna Arnfjorden Wadström.