Despite challenges: Businesses optimistic about future prospects

Published: September 19, 2012

Slight improvement is expected in both the contractual and permanent employment statuses, especially in the sugar industry. DESIGN: JAHANZAIB HAQUE

ISLAMABAD: Despite the fact that businesses continue to operate in a challenging environment, they remain somewhat optimistic about their future prospects, according to Business Barometer released by Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (Pide).

According to the report, energy shortage was not the top most constraint faced by most companies as they have made alternative arrangements to sustain their production. It said that firms that performed well in terms of production, sales and exports attribute their success to strong demand for their products.

However, the firms experiencing sluggish business activity blamed shortage of utility supplies as a major bottleneck hindering their performance. Meanwhile, the companies expected the inflation to remain in single-digits as most of them have reported increases in the prices during the first half of the year 2012 and expect them to increase in the second half.

The document said that slight improvement is expected in both the contractual and permanent employment statuses, especially in the sugar industry. It added that even though almost all the firms have reported to have a policy to increase wages once a year but not every industry is planning to do so.

According to the report, the firms highlighted the need for adopting policies to improve business climate in Pakistan.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 19th, 2012.

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