I was in the US recently and stopped at a pharmacy to buy a tube of toothpaste. When I paid at the till, my US$4 purchase resulted in a 15-inch receipt.
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New survey shows Caribbean business confidence still flat
Business confidence and optimism have not changed since the last quarter of results, concludes the Global Economic Conditions Survey (GECS) for quarter four of 2013.
The latest Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and Institute of Management Accountants (IMA)) survey found just under a quarter (24 per cent) were optimistic about the state of the economy, down by one per cent from the previous quarter. Pessimists about the economy made up 49 per cent of the sample, however this was also down by one per cent from the third quarter.
Brenda Lee Tang, head of ACCA Caribbean, said:
“In the past quarter, although it has been the same for some time, it has been increasingly difficult for businesses to thrive and develop, which reflects the concerns of the respondents to GECS. Business opportunities fell in this region for a second consecutive quarter, as well as business investment. “However 34 per cent of respondents were confident about their own organisations’ prospects, which is up from 19 per cent in the previous GECS.”
Manos Schizas, ACCA’s senior economic analyst, said:
“Although the results look bleak for this quarter, overall quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year, figures for the recovery index have gone up, and also for the confidence index. This paints a brighter picture of the economic situation on the islands in this region.”
GECS, now in its fifth year, revealed that at the global level, finance professionals had more faith in the strength of the wider economic recovery in Q4 2013 than at any time over the last five years: 55 per cent believed conditions were improving or about to do so, up from 53 per cent in the third quarter of 2013, while only 42 per cent felt that economic conditions were deteriorating or stagnating, down from 43 per cent in the previous quarter.
When it came to their own organisations, however, finance professionals’ confidence may have fallen marginally in the last quarter of 2013.
About 30 per cent reported confidence gains, up from 28 per cent previously, but 35 per cent reported losses, up from 32 per cent in the third quarter. Despite this, the Q4 2013 results still represent the second-strongest year-on-year confidence gains since mid-2010.