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Business confidence continues to rise

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The latest edition of LMD reports that the LMD-Nielsen Business Confidence Index (BCI) climbed 14 basis points to register 115 in February.

According to the leading business magazine, this follows an increase of 11 basis points in the previous month and also puts the index above its average of 101 for the last 12 months. However, it remains 12 basis points below where it stood a year ago, LMD points out.  

Nielsen’s Managing Director Sharang Pant says: “The tailwinds behind the improvement in sentiment remain the same – political stability, low inflation, healthy tourist arrival numbers and a marginal appreciation of the rupee versus the dollar.”

LMD notes that political stability, the health of the economy and corruption are among the key national issues cited by businesspeople. Meanwhile, taxes, the value of the rupee and inflation are considered to be among the main concerns when it comes to business.

A spokesperson for LMD reiterates that the outlook for the index may be uncertain following the stabilisation of the political situation and prospect of one or more elections this year. “The index may continue to trend upward in the short term, given expectations that the Budget 2019 would be business friendly,” she observes.

The spokesperson continues: “For now, there seems to be a renewed sense of optimism about business prospects as well as the national economy.”

Media Services, which publishes LMD, says the latest edition of the magazine will be released to leading bookstores and supermarkets on 8 March (for the full BCI report, visit www.LMD.lk).

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