Islamabad [Pakistan], December 8 (ANI): Business confidence in Pakistan has plunged to negative-4 per cent in the last six months across different sectors of the economy due to the challenging political and economic situation.
According to the Business Confidence Index (BCI) Survey (Wave-22), the confidence score dropped to -4 per cent, down by 21 per cent from the previous 17 per cent, recorded last year in March and April, reported Dawn.
The Business Confidence Index (BCI) Survey (Wave-22) was released by the Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI).
"The substantial decline in the overall business confidence to negative 4pc is regrettable but not surprising considering the highly challenging political and economic situation during the past six months. Besides, high inflation, increased fuel prices and significant currency devaluation also dampened economic activity," said OICCI President Ghias Khan.
"The record level of rains during August leading to severe flooding in Sindh and other parts of the country further restricted business activities," he said.
Notably, the highest drop in confidence is recorded in the services sector followed by retail, wholesale trade and at last, the manufacturing sector, reported Dawn.
The survey sample consisted of 42 per cent of respondents from the manufacturing sector, 33 per cent from the services sector and 25 per cent from the retail and wholesale trade.
Despite a significant drop in confidence of 20 percentage points, the manufacturing sector recorded a net confidence level of positive three percentage points. In contrast, the services and retail sectors stood at negative eight and 14 percentage points, respectively.
The OICCI survey feedback covers the business environment at regional, national, sectorial and entity levels in the past six months in addition to shedding light on the anticipated business and investment environment in the next six months, according to Dawn.
The result of this year's survey is depressing as 56 per cent of respondents were "negative" about the business environment in the past six months and in the previous wave, it was 19 per cent, the report said.
Going forward, only 2pc respondents were "positive" for the next six months as opposed to 18pc in the previous survey.
The confidence level of OICCI members, leading foreign investors who were randomly included in the survey, stood at positive 6pc, substantially lower than positive 33pc in the previous wave. Foreign investors have in the past also shown higher business confidence than non-members.
Khan said the feedback could be more positive if there were no delays in the revision of pharma pricing and in the processing of overseas remittances for goods, services and dividends. "Such actions are counter-productive for foreign direct investment," Dawn quoted him as saying.
The three major threats to business growth identified in the survey are inflation (78 per cent), high taxation (71 per cent) and currency devaluation (70 per cent).
Looking at the survey, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Secretary General Asad Umar called it incompetent and inept government's flawed policies and "worst fascism". He also said that it has caused "colossal damage" to the national economy in the last eight months. (ANI)