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Business confidence in Pakistan declines, says OICCI survey

KARACHI: Business confidence in Pakistan has declined during the last six months due to challenges the country is facing in energy, security and government policies, according to a recent survey conducted by the Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI).The results showed that the overall Business Confidence Index (BCI) Survey Wave 14 stood at 13%, down by four percentage points over the previous score of 17% reported in November 2016 (Wave 13).BCI is a bi-annual assessment sponsored by the OICCI since June 2010. Respondents in the survey are from common companies as well as OICCI members, an association of over 195 multinationals operating in Pakistan.The recent score of 13% is significantly lower than the highest-ever BCI score of 36% recorded in a similar survey result issued in April 2016.In the latest BCI survey, only the services sector has gained in confidence by 4% while the score of the manufacturing and retail sectors declined by 9% and 4%, respectively.Key factors responsible for the fall in business confidence were significant drop in capital investment plans for the next six months as well as an unstable business situation in the region and the country during the past six months.“Downward trend in business confidence, including amongst foreign investors, is very disturbing considering the current improved economic parameters,” OICCI President Khalid Mansoor said.BCI score of various business sectors reflect that financial services (58%), chemical/cement (27%), non-metallic (23%) and real estate (21%) are most booming sectors, whereas tobacco (-38%), petroleum (-13%) and textile (-2%) have emerged as most restrained sectors.He added that OICCI members are confident that economic managers of the country will analyse key messages coming out of this latest survey to take proactive corrective measures to reverse the trend.

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