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Economic sentiment improves slightly: Survey

Sentiment surrounding the economy witnessed a marginal uptick in October, according to the latest LMD-Nielsen Business Confidence (BCI) poll. The survey reveals that eight percent of corporate respondents expect the economy to improve over the next 12 months compared to five percent in September. However, a majority (60%) of businesspeople surveyed expect conditions to deteriorate with one executive lamenting: “There is nothing positive to speak of with regard to the economy. The government does not seem to have a long-term plan; everything seems to be for short-term gains.”

Short-term business prospects also appear grim as 46% of poll participants expect their sales volumes to decline over the next three months (compared to 39% in September).

An executive explains that “the depreciation of the rupee has impacted many establishments that rely on the import of raw materials and goods for their operations.”

As for the investment climate, a notable majority (69%) of those consulted consider it to be ‘poor’ or worse in contrast to a mere five percent of respondents who view it as ‘good’ or better, LMD reports.

“It is important that the Government safeguards investments that are currently taking place as well as builds trust among potential investors,” asserts one businessperson.

Media Services, the publisher of the pioneering business magazine, says the November edition of the magazine has been released to leading supermarkets and bookstores in Colombo and the outstations.

(FT)

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