The latest FICCI Business Confidence Survey has revealed that a majority of participants felt their businesses were directly impacted by the second COVID-19 wave and the ongoing lockdowns and restrictions. The Overall Business Confidence Index fell by over 20 points to stand at 51.5 from 74.2 in the last survey. However, the Index score still didn’t fall as much as it did during last year’s lockdown (42.9).
The survey by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) was conducted during the months of April and May and questioned its participants on their expectations for the period between April to September.
The demand conditions were also expected to be weaker as 70 percent of the respondents claimed that the current situation had weaker demand than during the previous survey segment. The slow demand is expected to be a result of permanent loss of incomes in many households due to lost livelihoods and deaths. The weak demand condition is expected to last long as many households have already tapped into and exhausted savings.
Only 31 percent were expecting better sales prospects in the coming months, down from 66 percent in the last survey. Profits were also not expected as only 16 percent of those surveyed were hoping for higher profits over the next six months. Respondents were similarly bearish on hiring prospects and only 37 percent of them indicated higher outbound shipments.
Only 19 percent of the respondents hoped for better hiring.
The respondents said the government needed to improve its vaccine procurement so that the mass vaccination drive could run at full speed. The respondents also believed that only mass vaccination could stop another pandemic.
(Edited by: By Shoma)