IBEC latest sentiment survey reveals that business confidence is improving, after falling back during the middle of 2012. The outlook for exports rose significantly, and while domestic sales expectations remain modest, they are much better than this time last year. Key trends highlighted in the survey include:
- The final quarter saw an improvement in CEOs’ assessment of their own businesses, both the current state and future outlook. The current conditions index rose to +15 from +10 in the previous quarter and was substantially higher than the reading of +4 recorded in Q4 2011.
- Confidence in the overall business environment improved slightly in the final quarter of the year but remains weak, with the current conditions index at -13 and the forward-looking index at -14. Both had recorded a reading of -19 in Q3.
- Export expectations rebounded to +33 from +12 in the third quarter and +29 at the end of 2011. The shift is driven by improved expectations across a range of sectors, but especially those where sales forecasts had softened in the middle of the year. Of the modern sectors, med-tech has consistently reported strong sales expectations. Sentiment in the ICT services and pharma sectors rebounded strongly in Q4.
- At -3 in Q4 2012, the index for domestic sales remained unchanged on the previous quarter, and was substantially improved on the Q4 2011 reading of -17.
- Sentiment Survey Q4 2012.pdf - 1,436 Kbytes