The winter Business Outlook Survey provides some positive signs for the economic outlook, notably for exports and investment, although responses do not yet appear to suggest a significant strengthening. For many businesses, weak demand and domestic uncertainty continue to temper sales expectations and expansion plans.
Weak demand and uncertainty regarding future demand continue to weigh on firms’ investment decisions and near-term capacity planning, according to responses to the autumn survey.
Responses to the summer survey provide further indications that uncertainty regarding the nature and timing of a notable improvement in growth prospects is bearing on firms’ expectations and investment decisions.
Taken together, responses to the spring survey indicate that, following a recent slowing in economic activity, firms expect business conditions to remain challenging over the next 12 months.
While some forward-looking indicators have moved up, many firms cited concerns about demand over next year and pressures from increased competition.
The results of the autumn survey suggest that, in an environment of slow global economic growth and uncertainty about demand, firms have tem¬pered their expectations for business activity.
Responses to the summer survey suggest that businesses generally remain positive about the outlook, but are mindful of renewed uncertainty regarding the global economic environment.
The results of the spring survey point to more optimism among firms than in the winter survey, as some of the uncertainty dampening the economic outlook has dissipated.
Responses to the winter survey suggest that the global economic outlook and concerns about demand continue to weigh on firms’ expectations for business activity.
Responses to the autumn survey point to less optimism among firms than in the summer survey. Indicators of future business activity, capacity constraints and price pressures have all moved down from the levels recorded in the previous survey.