July business confidence rises

Bank of Jamaica’s (BOJ) Perception of Present and Future Business Conditions in the July 2019 survey shows rises for both indices but with businesses being more positive about the future of the economy than for the present.
The Present Business Conditions Index increased slightly to 125.5 relative to 124.9 recorded in the previous survey, the BOJ reports show. While the survey shows a slight increase, the results are below the 2019 peak of 128.9 recorded in March, just after the Jamaica Government announced a series of tax cuts in the budget presentation. The 2019 readings are well ahead of 97.5 recorded in June 2016. The Perception of Present Business Conditions index is not the best indicator of business conditions, as respondents’ answers are based on their interpretation of current events, rather than reflecting the real implications for future developments.
The Future Business Conditions Index, the better measure of business conditions, increased relatively sharply to 149.3 from 141.7 in the previous survey. The BOJ report stated, “the advance in the Present Business Conditions Index reflected an increase in the number of respondents of the view that conditions are about the same. The outturn for the Future Business Conditions Index mainly reflected an increase in the proportion of respondents who believe that conditions will be better.”
Future Business Conditions Index is still below the March 2019 peak of 153.5 and the all-time peak of 155.1 attained in December 2017. Since June 2016, the Future Business Conditions Index hit a low of 120.2 in July 2018.
While business condition surveys when released, are months behind, IC Insider.com reviews of business sentiments in the past show that movements in the local stock market are the best indicators of the sentiments of the businesses and consumers.

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