ENTREPRENEURS EXPECT IMPROVEMENT OF BUSINESS CLIMATE IN BULGARIA
The overall business cimate indicator recorded an improvement in January 2002, the National Statistics Institute (NSI) established. NSI's survey was conducted among representatives of private ans state-run enterprises in the industrial, construction and retail sectors. The overall business climate indicator went up by 1.5 points from December 2001, which is mainly due to the increased optimism in construction, related to the expected business environment in the next six months, Teofana Genova, Director of NSI's Business Trends and Companies Department, commented. The business climate in this sector has improved significantly by 5 points from the last month of last year. The main problems experienced by building contractors are connected with the clients' insolvency, combined with the unfavourable weather conditions in January, Ms Teofanova specified.Estimates about the industrial sector have improved insignificantly by some 0.5 points, although anticipations for the business climate in the branch during the upcoming six months are more positive, the NSI commented. Private firms' owners and heads of state-run enterprises in industry reported an increase in the operation of capacities over the last three months - from 57.8% in October 2001 to 59.2% in January 2002 - connected with the higher number of orders on the part of customers. The representatives of industrial companies pointed out that the competitiveness of their products for export is increasing, but their selling on the domestic market is becoming more difficult. Improved positions for marketing Bulgarian goods mainly in the countries outside the European Union have been registered. However, managers of industrial enterprises forecast a reduction of their employees in the next three months. At the same time they predict an increase in output and selling prices.No substantial changes (as compared to December 2001) in the business environment in retail sales are observed in January 2002, but representatives of the branch expect a slight imporvement of the situation over the next six months.