Business executives and captains of industry had little confidence in the economy during the first quarter, the Business Barometer, an industry survey conducted by the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), has revealed.
The first quarter recorded a dip of 90.3 per cent in the confidence index, representing one of the lowest in almost four years. The depreciation of the cedi, rise in inflation, additional 2.5 per cent increase in the rate of the Value Added Tax (VAT), which was introduced in January, as well as the Bank of Ghana’s directives on forex trading, were cited as reasons for the drop in confidence in the economy’s ability to go forward.
The Chief Executive Officer of the AGI, Mr Seth Twum-Akwaboah, who made this known at the first quarter Business Barometer report of the AGI on Wednesday, stated that the report was sampled from 446 valid responses across all regions in the manufacturing, service and agricultural sectors.
The survey asked chief executive officers (CEOs) to rate their business performance in the first quarter and about one in every three respondents said their business had worsened in the first quarter of the year.
Mr Twum-Akwaboah said close to 19 per cent of the respondents said they experienced an improvement, while 33.9 per cent believed their businesses deteriorated.
The report also indicated that 41.3 per cent of captains of industry were indifferent about business prospects and 39.5 per cent were optimistic that the business climate would improve beyond the normal.
In effect, 60.5 per cent do not expect an improvement in the business climate within the next six months.
The President of the AGI, Mr James Asare-Agyei, also added that the survey was a clear representation of what happened as far as businesses were concerned.
Mr Asare-Adjei said the respondents were CEOs and directors of companies who gave their candid views on how the business environment or the business landscape looked like.
“We are interested in going down to the people who are in real operation; we don’t want to look into the research books and predict or project so we actually went down to those who are doing the business,” he said.
Source: Daily Graphic
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