The LMD-Nielsen Business Confidence Index (BCI) remained largely unchanged in July, registering an increase of one base point to 97 from June.
LMD notes that this marks an improvement compared to the same period last year when the index stood at 74 although it falls shy of its 12 month and all-time averages of 119 and 127 respectively.
Nielsen Director – Consumer Insights Therica Miyanadeniya states in LMD: “Sentiment seems to be stabilising as civilians and businesses slowly begin to operate as ‘near normal’ as possible. Although businesses are not fully operational and some continue to run at a lower capacity than usual, civilian lives have more or less adjusted to ‘life with COVID’.”
LMD reports that the impact of COVID-19 continues to be cited as the most pressing concern for the business community, followed by political instability, as well as high taxes and inflation.
The coronavirus is also cited as the most pressing national issue, in addition to the economy and insufficient per capita income.
As for the outlook for the unique index, Miyanadeniya says it is “very unpredictable” pending the election outcome and fears of a second wave of the coronavirus eventuating.
Commenting on this, a spokesperson for LMD points out that “the mere fact that there will be political continuity for the next five years may result in the BCI heading north, subject to developments on the COVID-19 front”.
Media Services, which publishes LMD, says the latest edition of the magazine will be released this week while its digital version is available on WhatsApp and its social media platforms (for the full BCI report, visit www.LMD.lk).