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Majority (60%) business owners think Pakistan is headed in the wrong direction; deteriorating economy and uncooperative government cited as major hurdles: Gallup Pakistan Business Confidence Index

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(Islamabad), January  28, 2020

According to a Gallup Pakistan Survey with business owners at the end of the year 2019, 3 in 5 respondents (60%) say they are pessimistic about the direction of the country, but more are hopeful (43%) that the coming year will be better for their business. The survey is the first of a Quarterly Business Confidence Survey that Gallup Pakistan aims to do in Pakistan. Business Confidence Index is an important barometer capturing the sentiments of business community in any country and used across the world by policy makers. The survey was conducted in the last Quarter of 2019 with around 500 businesses across Pakistan.

THREE KEY QUESTIONS ANSWERED BY GALLUP BUSINESS CONFIDENCE INDEX:

The Business Confidence Index answers 3 key questions:
1. What do businesses think with respect to direction of the country?
2. Are they hopeful or pessimistic about upcoming year?
3. What is the biggest hurdle faced by the businesses.

QUESTION 1: Direction of the country: a sweeping 60% of businesses feel things are not headed in the right direction

A sample of around 500 business owners and managers across Pakistan were asked the following question, “In your opinion, is the country currently headed in the right direction or the wrong direction?” In response to this question, 37% Pakistanis said that the country is headed in the right direction, while 60% said it is headed in the wrong direction. 3% did not know or did not wish to respond.

Source: Gallup Pakistan Business Confidence Survey  

Gallup Pakistan also calculates a net Direction of the country which for the end Quarter of year 2019 is a negative -23%. The figure reflects significant gloom within the business community.

Net Direction of Country Rating =   %Right Direction – %Wrong Direction
-23%

QUESTION 2: Hope for the Coming Year: Hope for the coming 12 months significantly better than direction of the country
Business owners were further asked, “When thinking about your business, please tell whether the coming year will be better, worse, or the same for your business?” More than 2 in 5 (43%) respondents were of the opinion that the coming year will be better for their business than the one that passed. 36% said that the coming year will be worse, while 16% said it will be the same.

Source: Gallup Pakistan Business Confidence Survey  

Net Optimism = Optimism – Pessimism
7%
Overall, net optimism for the coming year was 7% among the respondents.

QUESTION 3: Issues affecting business that owners want government to tackle: Inflation and taxes
Business owners were then asked, “Which issue affects your business the most, for which you want a solution from the government? 22% of the respondents say that inflation is the issue they want the government to solve. 19% business owners were most impacted by taxes, followed by 11% who were most concerned with factors impacting imports and exports.

Source: Gallup Pakistan Business Confidence Survey

QUESTION 4: Issues affecting business the most: DETERIORATING ECONOMY BIGGEST WOE OF THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY
Business owners were then asked, “Of the following issues, which issue would you say affects your business the most”? 49% of the respondents say that the deteriorating economy is affecting their business the most. 14% said uncooperative government has the most significant impact, while 9% said it is the unavailability of trustworthy workers. 6% said it is the lack of funds, and 5% said the law and order situation are the major issues impacting their business.

Source: Gallup Pakistan Business Confidence Survey

This project is done under the guidance of Bilal I Gilani, Executive Director Gallup Pakistan. Mr Gilani has over a decade experience of directing business surveys in Pakistan apart from spearheading over 500 research projects on behalf of Gallup Pakistan.

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