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Business confidence to grow in Jul-Dec

  • Published at 12:17 am October 29th, 2019
Business confidence
Guests hold copies of the Business Confidence Survey 2019 report at its launching event held at Amari Dhaka Hotel in Dhaka on Monday, October 28, 2019 Courtesy

4th Business Confidence Survey 2019 report projects

The country’s overall business confidence index may gain 0.55 point in July-December compared to January-June of the current year, according to a survey report released on Monday. 

According to the survey, the overall business confidence index for July -December to grow to 10.87, which was 10.32 in January-June while it may decline to 10.84 in January-June 2020. 

The 4th Business Confidence Survey 2019, conducted by the Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD) and supported by the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), was released at Amari Dhaka Hotel. 

The overall business confidence increased in July-December 2019 but it is perceived to fall slightly in January- June 2020 because of macroeconomic policy uncertainty, unofficial payment,  costly logistics, taxation issues, the report projects.

High inflationary expectation, volatile exchange rate, wage hike may affect the economic condition in January-June 2020, it says. 

According to the survey, businesses fear that availability of credit will be more troublesome with high bank interest rate. 

The proposed reforms on VAT and SD Act, income tax and customs in the national budget 2019-20 have already increased the cost of business, specially for the SMEs, it observes. 

Policy uncertainty, corruption, syndicate, transport situation, transport cost also may hit the confidence in January-June 2020. 

On the other hand, rapid increase in digitalization, flourishing IT and telecommunication sector, growth in electricity generation are boosting confidence in businesses. 

Economist of BUILD Nusrat Jahan Tania made a presentation on the Business Confidence Survey 2019. 

She said the survey was conducted between March 15 and September 15, 2019 covering 250 businesses across the country. 

BUILD sent questionnaire to 3,454 enterprises on a random sampling basis. 

Tania also said extensive follow-ups were made through phone calls along with over-the-phone interviews. Adaptation of online-based survey was cost- and time-effective compared to face to face interview technique. 

The period of July to December 2018 was taken as base period   to understand the perception of business for the period July to December 2019 and to predict the scenario for the period January to June 2020. 

BUILD recommends establishing effective and beneficial exchange rate policy for exporters and importers and effective macroeconomic policy to tackle inflation and wage hike.

It also recommends availability of bank credit and controlling corruption and syndication. 

Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi as chief guest while BIDA Executive Chairman Md Sirazul Islam, former Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith and Commerce Secretary Md Jafar Uddin were present at the event chaired by BUILD Chairman Mahbubul Alam. 

BUILD has been doing the survey since 2013 and conducted the first, second and third Business Confidence Survey in 2013, 2014 and 2015 respectively.