After significant increase in the previous quarter, BCI has decreased by 5.8, compared to Q3 2021, and reached 30.6 index points for Q4 2021. Expectations in the Georgian private sector have decreased by 12.9 index points, reaching 32.3. As for the business performance over the past three months, it has almost halved, reaching 28.7 points, indicating a downturn in production, turnover, and sales. Compared to the previous quarter, the Sales Price Expectation Index has increased significantly, showing growth in the market share of business owners who expect higher sales prices.
Compared to Q3 2021, BCI increased in retail trade (+20.9), manufacturing (+9.8) and financial sectors (+6.7), while it decreased in construction (-21.0), service (-15.3), and agriculture (-8.8) sectors.
Business confidence for the 4th quarter of 2021 has decreased by 6.9 index points for large companies and by 0.2 for SMEs.
Businesses’ Past Performance Index, which shows the development of businesses’ production, turnover, and sales in the past 3 months, decreased significantly compared to Q3 of 2021 and reached 28.7 for Q4 2021. It should be noted that until Q3 2021, the Past Performance Index remained negative for 5 consecutive quarters. The biggest deterioration for Q4 2021 was observed in agriculture (-34.9) sector, followed by the service (-30.2), manufacturing (-20.0), and financial (-3.7) sectors.
Business activities in the past 3 months have deteriorated for both, large businesses and SMEs. For large firms, the index decreased by 20.4 points and reached 35.9. For SMEs, the same indicator decreased by 3.5 and settled at -6.1 index points.
The Expectations Index decreased by 12.9 index points for Q4 2021 and settled at 32.3. Prospects for the next three months have worsened for all sectors except for the financial (+27.5) and retail trade (+14.4) sectors. The highest decrease is observed in construction (-57.4), and agriculture (-42.5) sectors.
Business expectations have deteriorated for large firms (-16.3) and improved for SMEs (+4.6).
64% of the surveyed businesses do not expect any changes in employment over the next three months, 7% of firms stated that they would hire fewer employees in the future, and 28% think that they would hire more.
40% of the firms surveyed expect the economic condition of their businesses to improve over the next three months. 42% do not predict any changes, and 17% of businesses believe their business conditions will worsen.
SALES PRICE EXPECTATIONS
The Sales Price Expectations Index increased significantly from 18.4 points (in Q3 2021) to 44.1 points for Q4 2021. The index increased for all sectors, with biggest change in retail trade (+56.0) and construction (+32.7) sectors. The overall Sales Price Expectations Index has increased for both large companies and SMEs.
Around 42% of all firms surveyed intend to increase their prices over the next three months. 7% of firms expect to decrease prices, and the remaining 51% will not change their prices in the near future.
For Q4 2021, limited access to financing and a lack of demand continues to be most significant obstacles for SMEs. Meanwhile, together with the lack of demand, shortage of qualified labour force is indicated as a major constraint by large companies.
It should be noted that the present BCI results may be overestimated, as the survey only covers businesses currently operating and not those that have already exited the market. Firms, which exited the market are, to some extent, more likely to demonstrate a negative outlook.