Businesses remain upbeat on economy; consumers less optimistic
Confidence in the government's economic policies remained high among businesses in the first quarter of this year, although slightly lower than for the previous quarter.
This is in contrast to consumer confidence which wavered during the first quarter due to lower than expected gains in job opportunities and income.
The Jamaica Chamber of Commerce's (JCC) quarterly survey of business and consumer confidence, presented this morning, indicates that the majority of local businesses are expecting economic conditions to improve further and are planning to undertake more investments to expand operations.
The JCC's business confidence survey says most businesses are expecting profits to increase, with all participating firms indicating improved profits.
However, most firms indicate that they are expecting taxes to go up, even as they expect economic conditions to improve.
At the same time, fewer consumers are now expecting economic conditions to improve when compared with the number who expected it to improve in the previous quarter.
Don Anderson, the managing director of Market Research Services Limited, which conducted the survey, says expectations among consumers of an improvement in earnings and job opportunities also declined over the period of review.
He says as a result, fewer people are planning to make major purchases such as houses, motor vehicles or vacations.