After three consecutive quarters of improvement, BCI in the third quarter of 2018 has worsened, dropping to 35.4 index points, which is a 4.2 index point loss over the previous quarter. The BCI drop is based on lowering expectations and worsening of past performance in many business sectors. Compared to other sectors, manufacturing assessed their past performance and expectations the most pessimistically. In contrast, the agriculture sector is the most positive, reflecting a high season in production.
The Past Performance Index, which reflects businesses' assessment of their own economic performance in the previous quarter, showed a downward trend, decreasing by 3.4 points in Q3 2018.
Business optimism about the overall economy decreased slightly, reaching 64.2 index points. Other than manufacturing, the retail trade and financial sectors have contributed the most to this decrease in business optimism.
The Sales Price Expectation Index decreased moderately, still standing higher than last year's expectations. Businesses in the service and construction sectors predict high price increases in the next quarter.
Expectations and past performance worsened for both large businesses and SMEs.
For large-sized firms, the main factors that continue to limit business activities are access to finance, space and equipment, while SMEs chose access to finance and lack of demand as the main limiting factors for further business development.