Business sentiment in India weakest since 2014: Report

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The business optimism in India has deteriorated with the country ranking sixth globally on the optimism index in the first quarter of 2018, said Grant Thornton’s International Business Report (IBR) on Tuesday.

According to the quarterly global business survey, India has been topping the chart since the new government came into power in 2014.

“However, the confidence has shaken since Q3 2017 with weakening currency and a surge in oil prices (Q3- 7th, Q4- 5th 2017),” Grant Thornton said in a statement.

“In contrast, globally, the business optimism is at an all-time high. The IBR finds that in Q1 2018, global business optimism stands at net 61 percent – the highest figure recorded in 15 years of research.”

As per the report, Indian businesses have been citing regulations and red tape, availability of skilled workforce, lack of ICT infrastructure and the shortage of finance as the biggest growth constraints.

“Even after India’s significant jump in World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking, the country still continues to rank 1st or 2nd in quoting these reasons as the key hurdles for growth,” the statement said.

The report pointed out that underlying pessimism is reflected in other parameters as well including revenue, selling prices, profitability, employment and exports expectations.

The scale and the report are prepared based on the results of a quarterly global business survey of 2,500 businesses in 37 economies.

“The reversal in sentiment amongst mid-sized business in India in the last 3 quarters is startling and I hope policy makers will sit up and take note,” Vishesh C. Chandiok, CEO, Grant Thornton India LLP was quoted as saying in the statement.

“With oil climbing, and India firmly in an election year, we ought to brace for a volatile economic environment in the days ahead. Export-oriented businesses should see better days, finally.”

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