Businesses still not so optimistic about future

Sunday, July 06, 2014

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Companies were slightly more optimistic about present business conditions in May compared to the month before.

However, they remained just as pessimistice about the future as they felt in April, according to the latest survey conducted by the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ).

"Of note, both indice remained below levels recorded in the 2011/12 fiscal year," said the Inflation Expectation Survey May 2014 report. "Nonetheless, the perceptions

of present and future business conditions have displayed a general upward trend since the

April 2013 survey."

A more comprehensive view of perceptions is expected to be revealed in the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC) Conference Board business and consumer confidence indices, which are scheduled for release on Tuesday.

Respondents to the BOJ survey expect the largest increase in production costs over the next 12 months to emanate from higher cost for utilities.

The proportion of business that expect the greatest impact on operating expenses to come from utility costs has been increasing since last year — 43.3 per cent pointed to utility costs in May, compared to 38.3 per cent last December.

"The cost of fuel/transport and raw materials were also expected to contribute significantly to higher production costs for the year ahead," said the report. "Wages and salaries remained the input costs least expected to increase over the next 12 months."




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