By Clive Leviev-Sawyer of the Sofia Globe
Bulgaria’s business climate indicator in February 2014 was largely unchanged from that in January, according to the National Statistical Institute (NSI).
A regular NSI poll found that there was an improvement of the indicator in industry (by 1.5 percentage points) and construction (by 2.7 percentage points), and a decrease in retail trade and service sector (by 2.1 and three percentage points, respectively).
The composite indicator “business climate in industry” increased by 1.5 percentage points in comparison with January due to the more optimistic managers’ assessments about the business situation of the enterprises.
However, the present production activity was seen as slightly decreased, while expectations about the activity in the sector over the next three months saw some improvement.
“The most serious obstacles for the business development in the branch continue to be connected with the uncertain economic environment and insufficient domestic demand, pointed out respectively by 54.7 per cent and 42.4% of the industrial entrepreneurs,” the NSI said.
As regards selling prices in industry, managers expect no change over the next three months.
In February, the composite indicator “business climate in construction” increased by 2.7 percentage points, which is due to the improved construction entrepreneurs’ expectations about the business situation of the enterprises over the next six months.
Their forecasts with regard to construction activity over the next three months are also more favourable.
The poll found a decrease in the number of the clients with delay in payments.
The main factor limiting the activity in the branch remains the uncertain economic environment, though in the last month a decrease of its negative influence had been seen, the NSI said.
In second and third place were the factors of financial problems and competition in the sector.
Managers expected that selling prices in the construction sector would stay unchanged over the next three months.
The composite indicator “business climate in retail trade” decreased by 2.1 percentage points compared to the previous month due to the worsening retailers’ expectations about the business situation of the enterprises over the next six months.
However, their prognoses concerning the volume of sales and orders placed with suppliers in coming months were more favourable.
The business climate indicator in the service sector fell, with managers assessments of the business situation in the sector more unfavourable than in January.
“With regard to the present demand for services their opinions are more reserved, while their expectations over the next three months are improved,” the NSI said.
“The uncertain economic environment and competition in the branch continue to be the main factors limiting the business development in the branch, as in the last month a decrease of their negative influence,” the institute said. Managers’ views of selling prices in the next three months remained unchanged from January.