BCI in the first quarter of 2019 has worsened, dropping to 22.6 index points, which is a 7.4 index point loss over the previous quarter. The BCI drop is driven by worsening in the past performance and expectations in a number of the business sectors. Interestingly, companies in the construction industry assessed their past performance most pessimistically, however they display the most optimistic expectations. While the private sector expectations tend to worsen, they continue to remain positive.
The Past Performance Index, which reflects businesses' assessment of their own economic performance in the previous quarter, showed a downward trend, decreasing by 3.6 points in Q1 2019.
Business optimism about the overall economy decreased significantly, reaching 36.3 index points. Other than retail trade, service and agriculture have contributed the most to this decrease in business optimism. In the construction and financial sector, expectations have improved significantly.
The Sales Price Expectation Index decreased slightly. Businesses in the service sector predict the largest price reduction in the next quarter while the other sectors are expecting higher prices.
Expectations and past performance worsened for large businesses and improved for SMEs.
The main factor that continues to limit business activities is the lack of demand for both large and small and medium businesses.