Business Confidence Index: the retail trade sector optimistic for the holiday season
16 December 2019

BCI in the fourth quarter of 2019 has increased to 18.5 index points, which is 10.2 index points above the previous quarter. The largest increase in BCI was observed in retail trade, followed by the construction industry. In these sectors, the increase in BCI is driven by both increases in past performance and in raised expectations. On the contrary, agriculture is the one industry where BCI decreased.

The Past Performance Index, which reflects businesses' assessment of their own economic performance in the previous quarter, showed an upward trend, increasing by  27.4 points in Q4 2019.

Business optimism increased after a recent significant deterioration in the previous quarter and rose to 31.3 index points. Other than retail trade and construction, the manufacturing sector has contributed the most to this increase in business optimism. Expectations have decreased significantly in agriculture.

The Sales Price Expectation Index decreased moderately. Businesses in the service and agricultural industries predict lower prices compared to the previous quarter, while other sectors expect higher prices.

Past performance improved for both large businesses and  SMEs, while expectations worsened moderately for SMEs and improved for large businesses. 

The main factors that limit business activities for large businesses are the shortage of labor force and access to finance.  As for SMEs, the main limiting factors are lack of demand and access to finance.