Business confidence stays firm

Thursday, 4 September 2014 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • LMD says the unique index holds its ground despite politics inhibiting confidence
Business magazine LMD notes in its forthcoming edition that “the unique gauge of corporate sentiment takes a minor detour, influenced by the prevailing investment climate and political activity ahead of the Uva Provincial Council elections.” “While the index has clawed back some losses compared to a year ago, the overall trend continues to be flat, with the BCI settling around the 135-140 mark in recent months,” it adds. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Media Services, LMD’s publisher, notes: “The index opened the year at 139, then fell by 15 points in February, only to resurrect itself to 140 the month after. It has remained in this range since then.” The latest LMD-Nielsen Business Confidence Index – or the BCI, as it is known – stands at 136, compared to 139 in the preceding month, she reveals, adding that “this broadly in line with the BCI’s 12-month average of 134.” However, in LMD’s September issue, Shaheen Cader, Nielsen’s MD, states: “What seems to be prevalent is not a sense of pessimism, but the absence of optimism, in terms of business performance in the short run.” Cader also notes that “with Provincial Council elections pending, businesses have expressed an increasing concern about any negative impact arising out of pre-election political activity.” As for the possible future direction of the biz confidence index, the magazine says “the outcome of the upcoming elections may hold sway over where the index heads in the short term.” It continues: “But the real strength of the BCI will be tested only in the fourth quarter,” when Budget 2015 is unveiled in Parliament. Media Services says that magazine will be released to bookstores and supermarkets on Friday 5 September.