BCI in the third quarter has worsened

BCI in the third quarter has worsened

After three consecutive quarters of improvements, BCI in the third quarter of 2018 has worsened, dropping to 35.4 index points, which is a 4.2 index point loss over the previous quarter. The BCI drop is based on lowering expectations and worsening of past performance in many business

sectors. Compared to other sectors, manufacturing assessed their past performance and expectations the most pessimistically. In contrast, the agriculture sector is the most positive, reflecting a high season in production.

The Past Performance Index, which reflects businesses’ assessment of their own economic performance in the previous quarter, showed a downward trend, decreasing by 3.4 points in Q3 2018.  Business optimism about the overall economy decreased slightly, reaching 64.2 index points. Other than manufacturing, the retail trade and financial sectors have contributed the most to this decrease in business optimism.

The Sales Price Expectation Index decreased moderately, still standing higher than last year’s expectations. Businesses in the service and construction sectors predict high price increases in the next quarter.

Expectations and past performance worsened for both large businesses and SMEs.

For large-sized firms, the main factors that continue to limit business activities are access to finance, space and equipment, while SMEs chose access to finance and lack of demand as the main limiting factors for further business development.

Overall, the BCI lost 4.2 points compared to Q2 2018. Expectations in the private sector in Georgia decreased by 2.8 percentage points and dropped to 64.2 index points (up from 67.0 points in Q2). Business performance over the past three months decreased, reaching nearly 38.2 points (decreasing from 41.6), indicating a downturn in production/turnover/sales. The synergy of worsening performance in the past three months and lower expectations have led to a drop in overall BCI.

The BCI index worsened in manufacturing (-36.2), retail trade (-10.1), financial (-36.2), and other (-4.2) sectors. The construction, agriculture and service sectors improved by 16.4, 13.4 and 4.7 points, respectively.

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