Business expects slowdown in inflation, weakening of hryvnia devaluation - NBU poll
Ukrainian business has improved expectations of a slowdown in inflation over the next 12 months to 7.7% from 7.9% and the weakening of the hryvnia exchange rate to UAH 29.15/$1 from UAH 29.68/$1.
According to the results of a regular quarterly survey of business expectations of the country's enterprises, posted on the NBU website, the business activity expectations index of enterprises increased compared to the previous quarter to 108.4% from 99.6%, returning to positive values.
According to the central bank, the improvement was mainly due to high estimates of the total sales of domestic products, the financial and economic condition of enterprises, investment costs for machinery, equipment and inventory, as well as investment costs for construction.
The survey shows that the respondents of all types of economic activity expect an improvement in their financial condition, with the exception of energy and water supply companies, which believe that their condition will not change in the next 12 months.
According to the report, the business expects an increase in product sales, including on the foreign market. Optimistic sentiments prevail in all sectors of the economy, except for energy and water supply.
For the sixth quarter in a row, the business is set to cut its employees, according to the survey. At the same time, respondents from trade and mining enterprises expect an increase in the number of their employees.
At the same time, the majority of companies (62.9%) plan to raise salaries for their employees over the next 12 months, and only 2% of companies are ready to cut salaries.
The survey shows that the share of companies planning to raise loans in Ukraine over the next 12 months dropped to 39.3% (in the previous quarter - 41.7%). The overwhelming majority of borrowers (78.7%) prefer to raise funds in the national currency. At the same time, the share of companies planning to take out loans abroad increased to 8.7% from 6.9%. It is indicated that high rates (55.9% of respondents) and excessive requirements for collateral (40.9%) were named the main obstacles to attracting new loans.
Some 687 enterprises from 22 regions of the country took part in the survey of business expectations. Among the respondents, 18.3% are processing industry companies, 16% - from wholesale trade, 15% - agriculture, 13.2% - transport and communications, 6.8% - mining industry, 4.8% - electricity and water supply, 4.5% - retail trade, 3.1% - construction, 18.2% - enterprises of other industries.