Business confidence drops to lowest level in Pakistan

Pakistani entrepreneurs are getting increasingly pessimistic about the conditions of their businesses owing to the countrys political and economic situation, according to a new survey.

The Gallup Pakistan Business Confidence Index showed 65 per cent of business owners believe their businesses are facing bad conditions, Dawn news reported.

Industrial machines businesses are doing the best out of all types of businesses, with 75 per cent of them believing that conditions are good.

Cloth and garment shops are experiencing the worst level of confidence, with 81 per cent of them saying business conditions are bad, Dawn reported citing the survey.

Findings of the survey show the Net Future Business Confidence score has worsened by 50 per cent since the beginning of 2022 and is now at -10 per cent.

Compared to earlier this year, the number of businesses saying the country is headed in the wrong direction has gone up by 32 per cent.

Less than 15 per cent of businesses in Punjab, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa believe that the country is headed in the right direction.

“Gallup Business Confidence Report for the fourth quarter of 2022 paints a bleak picture. The index values are the worst since Gallup started the project in 2019, which includes Covid-19 times,” Dawn news quoted Bilal Ijaz Gilani, executive director of Gallup Pakistan and chief architect of the Gallup Pakistan Business Confidence Index, as saying.

“The report comes after Pakistan faced the worst floods in decades. The business community awaits strong and decisive steps by the government,” he added.

Similar to the findings of the survey conducted in the first quarter of 2022, the latest poll shows inflation remains the “most-cited” problem that businesses would like the government to solve by the end of this year.

As many as 72 per cent of the businesses surveyed reported experiencing loadshedding every day.

A considerable increase in the number of businesses experiencing loadshedding was witnessed in the fourth quarter. About 19 per cent of the businesses that reported facing loadshedding within a day experienced it for two hours, the survey showed.

As many as 81 per cent of the businesses said they do not believe the court system is fair, impartial and uncorrupted versus 7 per cent in the first quarter of 2022, Dawn reported.

More businesses from Balochistan disagree with the idea that the court system is fair, impartial and uncorrupted than any other province, survey results showed.

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