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Business Tendency Survey December 2019

Produced by the Statistics Jersey (Strategic Policy, Planning and Performance)
Authored by Statistics Jersey and published on 30 Jan 2020
Prepared internally, no external cost

Summary

The quarterly Jersey Business Tendency Survey (BTS) provides timely, qualitative information about the Island’s economy.

Chief executives and managing directors are asked for their opinions on the current situation of their business compared to three months earlier and their expectations for the next three months.

Business activity indicator

  • the headline all-sector business activity indicator was slightly positive, at +6 percentage points (pp); this means the proportion of businesses reporting an increase was 6 pp greater than those reporting a decrease
    • the business activity indicator was positive for the finance sector (+17 pp) and neutral for the non-finance sector (0 pp)
    • the all-sector business activity indicator increased marginally over the three months to December  (up 3 pp); the indicator increased significantly by 10 pp for finance, and was essentially unchanged for non finance (down 2 pp)

Current indicators

  • two of the eight current indicators were significantly negative and one was significantly positive
    • for the finance sector, there were three significantly positive indicators and one significantly negative indicator
    • for the non-finance sector, three of the eight current indicators were significantly negative and one was significantly positive
  • the overall picture was essentially unchanged from last quarter; none of the current indicators changed significantly
    • the finance sector was significantly more positive than last quarter in five current indicators:, new business, business optimism, employment, profitability, and business activity
    • for the non-finance sector, the only significant quarterly changes was in the employment indicator, which was significantly more negative

Next quarter – the three months to March 2020

  • the outlook for future business activity was significantly positive (+16 pp) overall, with the finance sector strongly positive (+38 pp) and the non-finance sector slightly positive (+5 pp)
    • the overall future business activity indicator was significantly higher than 3 months ago, up 18 pp, but was not significantly different to the previous December or the three-year mean
  • the future employment outlook was neutral (+2 pp) overall, with finance positive (+16 pp) and non finance slightly negative (-6 pp)
    • the future employment indicator was significantly lower than last quarter, down 10 pp, but was essentially the same as twelve months previously (down 1 pp)

2020 – Finance sector expectations

  • the employment expectations indicator for 2020 was positive (+17 pp)
    • this indicator was slightly lower than in June 2019 and December 2018, down 7 pp and 9 pp respectively
  • the profit expectations indicator for 2020 was strongly positive (+48 pp); 69% of finance companies predicted an increase, compared to 22% that predicted a decrease
    • the expected profits indicator was slightly lower than in June 2019 (down 7 pp), and significantly lower than in December 2018 (down 11 pp)

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