The Ukrainian business retains positive expectations regarding the level of business activity for the next 12 months, according to a poll of company heads conducted by the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) in the third quarter of 2018. “As in the previous polls, business activity is expected to boost by respondents of all types of economic activity. The most optimistic forecasts are in the processing industry. The business expectations index for the next 12 months was 117.2%,” the central bank reported on its website. The high economic activity growth pace remains mainly due to improved forecasts for the total sales of own products, as well as investment expenditures on machinery, equipment and inventory. At the same time, enterprises of all types of activities, except agricultural, expect further growth of foreign investments.
At the same time, the business pointed out a low level of stocks of finished products and the lack of its own production facilities in the event of an unexpected increase in demand.
The expectations of the respondents regarding the need for borrowed funds in the near future remained virtually unchanged compared with the previous quarter. At the same time, the majority of respondents who plan to attract loans are interested in financing in national currency. At the same time, the share of respondents planning to attract bank loans is declining for the third quarter in a row amid high credit rates.
The expectations of all enterprises in terms of production of goods and services in Ukraine for the next 12 months remain high: more than 30% of respondents expect production to grow, and about 50% are convinced that it will remain at the same level. Positive expectations have been observed for the last 10 quarters in a row.
For the second quarter in a row, the surveyed enterprises are lowering inflation expectations. “According to the survey, consumer price growth is expected to be at the level of 8.9% (in the second quarter of 2018 – 9.6%). The main factor affecting the price increase is the hryvnia exchange rate to foreign currencies (82.8% of responses). Production costs are at the second position, but the weight of this factor decreased by 3.1 percentage points compared to the previous quarter – to 68.5%,” the NBU said.
According to representatives of enterprises surveyed, in the next 12 months, consumer income and prices in global markets will affect the dynamics of consumer prices.
The National Bank said that the survey was conducted from August 3 through September 4, 2018. A total of 682 enterprises from 22 regions (excluding the temporarily occupied territories of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, as well as Donetsk and Luhansk regions), which represent the economy by main types of activities, ownership and size by the number of employees, took part in the survey.