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Business confidence in Pakistan at rock bottom

KARACHI: According to a Gallup Pakistan survey conducted in the current quarter of 2022, entrepreneurs are increasingly pessimistic about the conditions of their businesses due to the country’s political and economic situation.

The Gallup Business Confidence Index shows that 65% of business owners believe their company faces poor conditions.

Industrial machinery manufacturers get the best out of all business types, with 75% of them saying conditions are good. Fabric and clothing stores have the worst level of trust, with 81% saying business conditions are poor.

The survey results show that the Net Future Business Confidence Score has deteriorated by 50% since the beginning of 2022 and is now at -10%.

Compared to the start of the year, the number of companies saying the country is going in the wrong direction is up 32%. Less than 15% of businesses in Punjab, Sindh, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa believe the country is moving in the right direction.

Similar to the results of the survey conducted in the first quarter of 2022, the latest survey shows that inflation remains the “most cited” issue that companies want the government to address by the end of this year.

As many as 72% of the companies surveyed said they face load shedding every day. The fourth quarter saw a significant increase in the number of business spin-offs. According to the survey, about 19% of organizations that reported experiencing load shedding during the day experienced it for two hours.

As many as 81% of companies said they do not believe the judicial system is fair, impartial, and unadulterated, up from 7% in the first quarter of 2022. More companies in Balochistan disagree with the notion that the judicial system is fair, impartial, and unadulterated than any other. another province, depending on the results of the survey.

A quarter of the companies surveyed said their offices had been visited by tax officials, down 12% from the previous survey.

A sample of over 700 business owners and managers across Pakistan were surveyed on the status of their businesses. After the peak of Covid-19, companies started to express greater confidence. But that confidence collapsed between early and late 2022.

“This sudden change and a 63% drop in current business conditions could be due to ongoing political instability throughout the year,” he said.

The survey asked business owners which issues are impacting their businesses. Aside from inflation, “customer shortage” was a problem faced by 8% of them. High taxes are also seen as a problem by 4% of companies.

“The Gallup Business Confidence Report for the fourth quarter of 2022 paints a bleak picture. Index scores are the worst since Gallup launched the project in 2019, which includes Covid-19 times,” said Bilal Ijaz Gilani, executive director of Gallup Pakistan and chief architect of the Gallup Pakistan Business Confidence Index.

“The report comes after Pakistan faced its worst flooding in decades. The business community expects strong and decisive action from the government,” he added.

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