July, 31, 2020
( LMD) Five years to July 2020 - Positive sentiment in relation to the economy has been maintained from the previous month with 44% (versus 42% in June) of corporate executives consulted in the latest LMD-Nielsen Business Confidence Index (BCI) survey stating that the economy in general ‘will improve’ in the coming 12 months.
A quarter of the survey sample believes that economic conditions are likely to remain the same in the 12 months ahead whereas 31% have a more pessimistic outlook in this regard.
Where sales volumes are concerned, long term sentiment is in line with the prior month with 68% of survey participants pointing to improved business prospects in the next year.
Nonetheless, as businesses begin to gradually revamp operations, the share of respondents who anticipate short-term ( i-e. in the next three months) improvements in sales volumes has increased to 34% ( compared to 27% in June).
As for positive sentiment regarding business performance compared to the prior year, it has fallen to 5% (from 15% in the previous month) amid the reality of doing business in the post-COVID-19 era.
Confidence in the investment climate remains unchanged with a mere 6% of businesspeople saying this is a good time to invest in the country.
The majority view on the funding outlook is negative with slightly over half the sample indicating a ‘poor’ or a ‘very poor’ investment climate.
Another 43% ( up from 30% in June) of respondents describe the prevailing investment climate as ‘fair’.
In terms of plans for the workforce, only 8% of those surveyed say they will increase the numbers in the coming six months.
The majority (82%) of respondents suggest that they will maintain their employee count- although a tenth of the sample warn of the likelihood of staff retrenchments in the six months ahead.