09:52 02.04.2021

Businesses in March improve assessment of prospects in response to favorable external environment, higher domestic demand - NBU

2 min read
Businesses in March improve assessment of prospects in response to favorable external environment, higher domestic demand - NBU

The Business Activity Expectations Index, calculated by the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU), in March rose to 51.4 in March from 48.8 in February, the best result since February 2020, the central bank said on its website.

"In March, companies across all of the surveyed sectors reported more optimistic expectations of their business performance. More specifically, the indices of industrial, trading and services companies moved above the neutral level," it said.

"For two months in a row, industrial companies have been reporting the most robust expectations of their economic performance compared to other sectors – the sector's index was 52.3 in March, up from 50.3 in February. Respondents from industrial companies upgraded their expectations for the amount of manufactured goods and the number of new orders, including export orders," the NBU said.

"Respondents from trading and services companies also improved their expectations of their economic performance – the indices of both sectors moved up to 52.2 and 51.4 in March, from 49.0 in February. Firmer expectations for the number of new orders and the amount of goods for sale and services show that these sectors are resuming operations," the report says.

"Although reporting the weakest expectations, construction (housing construction) companies softened their pessimistic expectations amid a seasonal pick-up in construction activity. The sector’s index was 40.6 in March, up from 35.3 in February. Construction companies upgraded their expectations for construction volumes, purchases of raw materials and supplies and the availability of contractors," the NBU said.

"Companies across all sectors expect a rise in their selling prices on the back of higher raw material and supplies prices. They also report no intentions to expand their workforces," the bank said.

This survey was carried out from March 3 through March 24, 2021. A total of 269 companies were polled. Of the companies polled, 40.5% are industrial companies, 30.1% companies in the services sector, 25.7% trading companies, and 3.7% construction companies. Some 34.2% of the respondents are large companies, 28.6% medium companies, and 37.2% small companies.

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