A regular monthly poll by Bulgaria’s National Statistical Institute (NSI) has found that managers held that the country’s business climate improved slightly in January 2017 in comparison with the previous month.
In January 2017, the total business climate indicator increased by 0.8 percentage points in comparison with December 2016, due to the improved business climate in industry and the service sector.
The composite indicator “business climate in industry” increased by 0.9 percentage points compared to December 2016 as a result of the optimistic industrial entrepreneurs’ expectations about the business situation of the enterprises over the next six months, the NSI said.
The poll also found some improvement in their assessments about the inflow of new orders, which was accompanied with more favourable expectations about production activity over the next three months.
In January, the average capacity utilization in industry remained at its October 2016 level (74.6 per cent). However, with regard to the expected demand over the next months a shortage of capacity is foreseen.
The main factor limiting the business development continued to be the uncertain economic environment, followed by the shortage of labour, as the last month had seen a strengthening of these as negative factors.
As to selling prices in industry, managers’ expectations were that these would remain at the same level over the next three months.
In January, the composite indicator “business climate in construction” fell by 1.2 percentage points because of a shifting of the construction entrepreneurs’ assessments about the present business situation of the enterprises from “good” towards “satisfactory” – which the NSI noted was normal for the season.
In this sector, managers saw the uncertain economic environment and competition in the sector as the most serious negative factors, while concern about weather conditions also had increased.
The managers did not foresee a change in the selling prices in construction over the next three months, the NSI said.
The poll found views of the business climate in the retail trade unchanged from December.
At the same time, the poll found that the opinion of the business climate in the service sector was up by 3.5 percentage points compared with the previous month, with managers more optimistic about the business situation of their entreprises and about current and expected demand for services./IBNA