Automotive and transport is the leading sector in the region CEE
The Top 500 companies generated EUR 580 billion in 2016 – a minor decrease of 0.6% – and experienced a greater downturn in net profit by -3.1% to EUR 26.3 billion. In contrast to the decrease in turnover and net profit, employment rates boomed. The CEE Top 500 companies employed 4.5% of the total labour force in the region, strengthening their workforce significantly by +3.9% to 2.2 million people. This development was reflected in the declining unemployment rates in the region. In ten countries the unemployment rates decreased by even more than 10%, most notably Hungary with -25.0% to 5.1% and the Czech Republic with -21.6% to 4.0%. In most of the CEE countries unemployment rates are now even lower than in Western European countries. The only country which registered higher unemployment figures than the year before is Estonia with +9.7% to 6.8%.
Diverse sector landscape: automotive industry up, oil & gas sector down
The analysis by sectors showed a changing market. Traditional industries declined and new ones were ready to take over. Although the overall turnover decreased by -0.6%, nine out of 13 sectors increased their turnover in comparison to the previous year. The decrease in the Top 500 turnover can be attributed to four sectors: oil & gas (-5.4%), energy (-7.3%), mechanical & precision engineering (-59.1%) and metals (-6.4%). Their revenue losses were too large to be offset by the positive performance of the other sectors.
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