KARACHI: The Gallup Business Confidence Index (BCI) reported a return to green indicating that businesses in the country are confident about the present and anticipate a better future.
As per a report published by Gallup in which 487 businesses across Pakistan were surveyed, the dividends of opening lockdown are clearly visible in the country.
The report said that fair confidence was observed for the current business situation score, great confidence in the future business situation score, and fair confidence in the direction of the country score.
According to the report, four in five businesses (81 per cent) were confident that the future would be better. Net future business confidence score rose by 65 per cent since the first quarter of 2020.
Similarly, more than half of the businesses surveyed believe that the country is moving in the right direction, which is a 15 per cent rise since the first quarter of 2020.
According to the report, half of the businesses which were surveyed reported good business conditions. Net current business condition score rose by 66 per cent since the first quarter of the current year.
Moreover, two in five of the businesses which were surveyed reported satisfaction with the federal government’s efforts in providing relief to businesses.
On a provincial level Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Balochistan boasted the highest business situation net score of more than 35 per cent.
More than four in five businesses from Sindh reported optimism regarding the future of their businesses while only one in four businesses from Central Punjab reported the same.
Similarly, two in three businesses surveyed from Sindh feel that the country is heading in the right direction. This number was again the lowest in Central Punjab.
The Northern Belt boasted the highest net direction score at +27 per cent, followed by the Karachi Belt at +25 per cent.
Net satisfaction among businesses from the Karachi Belt was lowest at -55 per cent followed by Central Punjab at -25 per cent.
According to the report, a greater percentage of young companies, which have been established for less than 15 years, have reported an increase in sales. The report further said that one in three businesses that reported a decline in sales reported around a 40-60 per cent decrease, followed by one in five businesses reporting between a 60-80 per cent decline in sales.
However, three quarters of manufacturing businesses recorded a decline in sales owing to Covid-19.
Moreover, one in four businesses which were surveyed reported laying off/giving leave without pay to employees to minimise losses. More than half of the businesses which were established less than a year ago reported downsizing, while three in 10 manufacturing businesses reported layoffs. Lowest downsizing was reported by trade businesses (7 per cent) and companies established more than 46 years ago (11 per cent).
Moreover, two in five food commodity businesses reported laying off employees, while industrial equipment businesses reported no layoffs.