Business, consumer confidence at all time high
Business and consumer confidence remained more favourable in 2016 than at any time since the survey began 15 years ago, Managing Director of Market Research Services, Don Anderson revealed this morning.
The business confidence index stood at 142 in the fourth quarter of 2016 – October to December – while consumer confidence was 151.6 in the third and fourth quarters, just below the average of 151.7 during the year.
Almost two-thirds of firms reported that it was a good time to expand their productive capacity to take advantage of future economic opportunities, and 53 per cent said they expected an improved economy during the quarter, up from 49 per cent.
A majority of firms expected improvements in their financial prospects as well as growth in profits.
In the last quarter, businesses cited crime and violence as the top issue facing the economy.
Anderson said consumers have become slightly less optimistic about job gains, with 82 per cent saying that jobs were scarce, a four per cent increase on the 78 per cent who expressed a similar view the previous quarter.
In the report Anderson presented at the Spanish Court Hotel, New Kingston, the researchers, who conducted the survey on behalf of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce, pointed out that without positive reinforcement optimism cannot long persist.
“While the government cannot instantly create economic miracles, they can act to reduce the high costs of crime and violence to society and to the economy,” the report said.
See full story in Gleaner Business on Wednesday.