On the global front, updates on the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in a number of countries offered some hope to those looking forward to a semblance of normalcy in the new year.

Nevertheless, scepticism seems to have reigned supreme as 2020 drew to a close with the results of the latest LMD-Nielsen Business Confidence Index (BCI) survey, which was conducted in the first seven days of December, reflecting a somewhat dismal state of affairs.

THE INDEX The BCI has recorded a further decline, falling by eight basis points from the previous month to 83 in December. This also represents the lowest point in the index for the entirety of 2020.

Nielsen’s Director – Consumer Insights Therica Miyanadeniya comments: “As the country continues to grapple with the COVID-19 crisis, and struggles to ensure that there’s continuity in business operations as well as the day-to-day lives of people, the hope of an end to the pandemic is beginning to look like a far-fetched dream.”

“The end of the year was very bleak with no hope of recovery and 2020 will go down in history as the year that never was,” she adds.

Miyanadeniya continues: “Reflecting this dismal situation, both the BCI and Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) continue to head south… Although both indices have not yet reached the levels post the Easter Sunday attacks in 2019, they are steadily approaching their all-time lows.”