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Firms’ confidence on macro economy high at 59.9 index points in December


Nigerian businesses show greater confidence on the macro economy, with 59.9 index points in December compared to 29.0 points in the current month, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said in a report on Wednesday.

The November 2019 Business Expectations Survey (BES), was conducted by the regulator from November 12-18, 2019 with a sample size of 1050 businesses nationwide.

A response rate of 95.6 percent was achieved, and the sample covered the services, industrial, wholesale/retail trade, and construction sectors.

The respondent firms were made up of small, medium and large corporations covering both import- and export-oriented businesses.

The overall confidence index (CI) at 29.0 points indicated respondents’ optimism on the overall macro economy in the month of November 2019.

The optimism on the macroeconomy in the current month was driven by the opinion of respondents from services (16.0 points), industrial (9.5 points), wholesale/retail trade (2.9 points) and construction (0.6 points) sectors. Similarly, the major drivers of the optimism for next month were services (31.9 points), industrial (20.1 points), wholesale/retail trade (5.9 points) and construction (2.0 points) sectors.

Further analysis showed that businesses that are neither import- nor export-oriented (19.6points), both import- and export-oriented (5.0 points) import-oriented (3.7 points), and those that are export-related (0.5 point) drove the positive business outlook in November 2019.

Respondents’ outlook on the volume of total order and business activity in November 2019 remained positive, as both their indices stood at 17.3 points. Similarly, respondents were optimistic in their outlook on financial conditions (working capital) and average capacity utilization, as the indices stood at 12.8 and 19.1 index points, respectively.

However, Respondent firms identified insufficient power supply (66.3 points), high interest rate (57.8 points), financial problems (55.0 points), unfavourable economic climate (53.8 points), unclear economic laws (50.4 points), unfavourable political climate (45.3 points), insufficient demand (45.0 points), competition (44.7 points) and access to credit (42.5 points) as major factors constraining business activity in the current month.

Respondents anticipate improvements in economic conditions, as the index of their expectation on economic growth rate in the short run stood at 36.5, 45.9 and 52.6 points for the current month, next six months and next twelve months, respectively.