A regular poll by Bulgaria’s National Statistical Institute (NSI) has found views of the country’s business climate in December largely unchanged compared with the previous month.
In 2016, the NSI surveys found improvements in business sentiment in Bulgaria in January, February and March, a drop in April, and gains in May and June, followed by a drop in July. The level remained unchanged in August and September, before dropping 1.3 percentage points in October, then gaining 0.6 percentage points in November.
In December 2016, the NSI poll found improvements in views of the business climate in industry and construction, while the opposite was true for the retail trade and service sectors.
In industry, the indicator increased by 2.3 percentage points in comparison with November 2016, with managers taking a more positive view of the situation of their businesses.
However, their expectations about orders and production activity over the next three months had lowered.
Close to half of the enterprises saw the uncertain economic environment as the most serious problem.
In the construction sector, the indicator was up by 1.2 percentage points, as managers took a more positive view of the situation of their businesses, but their views of current construction activity and that over the next three months were more moderate. They too saw the uncertain economic environment, along with competition in the sector, as impeding factors.
The retail trade saw its indicator drop by 5.2 percentage points, with worsened expectations about businesses in the sector and more reserved expectations about sales and orders over the next three months.
Views in the sector were brought down by the uncertain economic environment, competition in the sector and insufficient demand.
In the service sector, the indicator was down by 1.3 percentage points, mainly because managers had a more unfavourable view of the situation of their enterprises over the next six months.
Their opinions about both current and expected demand for services were also more reserved.
The main obstacles to the development of business in the service sector remained the uncertain economic environment and the competition in the sector, although the poll found that over the past month, there had been a decrease in the view of the negative impact of these, the NSI said./IBNA