In November, companies’ short-term expectations of their current performance were again guarded, for the second month in a row. Hostilities and their repercussions, rising security risks, disrupted supply chains, somewhat limited electricity supply, higher electricity prices for businesses, tax changes, narrowing investment demand, and shortages of skilled workers, are continuing to dampen companies’ economic activity, while also negatively affecting their expectations. This is evidenced by the business activity expectations index (BAEI), which the NBU calculates on a monthly basis, apart from the forced break in March–May 2022. In November 2023, the BAEI remained below its neutral level of 50 points, totaling 49.1, down from 49.6 in October.
Trading companies remained the only sector that expected an improvement in their performance amid slower inflation, sustained domestic demand, and the increased supply of goods. The sector’s index was 50.9 in November, down from 53.0 in October. Respondents continued to declare intentions to further increase, albeit at a slower pace, their goods turnover and the amount of goods purchased for sale. At the same time, companies expected a decrease in their stocks of goods for sale. Companies expected weaker growth in purchase prices and in the cost of goods purchased for sale, while also declaring intentions to cut their trade margins further.
Industrial companies expected a deterioration in their economic performance due to difficulties with exporting goods, disrupted supply chains, and more fierce hostilities: the sector’s index was 49.2 in November, down from 50.0 in October. Respondents continued to expect, albeit at a slower pace, an increase in the amount of manufactured goods and the number of new orders for products. Respondents upgraded their views, to a positive level, about their finished goods stocks. Conversely, respondents somewhat strengthened their pessimistic views about the number of new export orders and the amount of unfinished products.
Services companies slightly softened their negative views of their economic performance in the short-term, the sector’s DI being 48.4 in November, up from 47.2 in October. Respondents expected a rise in the amount of services provided, softened their expectations about a drop in the number of new orders, while also expecting no change in the amount of services that are being provided.
Construction companies were the most pessimistic among other sectors about their economic performance, because of rising production costs, narrowing investment demand, shortages of skilled workers and seasonal conditions: the sector’s DI was 40.6, down from 44.8 in October. Respondents expected a further drop in construction volumes, the number of new orders, and in purchases of raw materials and supplies. Despite softening their views about the cost of contractor services, construction companies reported intentions to purchase less of these services. Respondents also remained downbeat about the availability of contractors. With significantly weaker expectations of slower growth in supplier prices, respondents declared intentions to cut their selling prices slightly.
Companies declared intentions to raise their selling prices on the back of ongoing rises in purchase prices. Staff expectations remained guarded. Managers across all sectors continued to expect reductions in their workforces, with construction companies reporting the firmest expectations.
This survey was carried out from 6 November through 23 November 2023. A total of 460 companies were polled. Of the companies polled, 44.6% are industrial companies, 27.2% services companies, 23.7% trading companies, and 4.6% construction companies; 33.3% of the respondents are large companies, 28.9% medium companies, and 37.8% small companies.
Out of the surveyed companies, 31.1% are both exporters and importers, 9.6% are exporters only, 17.4% are importers only, and 41.3% are neither exporters nor importers.
The findings presented reflect only the opinions of the respondents (top managers of Ukrainian companies), and should not be considered as NBU assessments.
The monthly business activity expectations index (BAEI) is a tool for conducting latest assessments and detecting trends in economic development. It is calculated on the basis of surveys of Ukrainian real sector companies.
Monthly business activity expectations indices are calculated on the basis of respondents’ replies. These indices are as follows: sectoral indices (for each sector of the economy) and a composite index (describes the country’s economic performance over a month). A value of 50 corresponds to the neutral level. Index values above the neutral level indicate positive expectations.
Read more about the November 2023 survey in the Monthly Surveys of Companies Subsection of the Publications Section on the NBU’s official website.
The NBU started posting monthly survey results in the open data format.
The results of the next survey (for December) will be published on the first business day of January 2024.