KINGSTON, Jamaica, Thursday April 11, 2019 – Consumer and business confidence in the economy have recorded increases for the first quarter of 2019.
The consumer confidence index was 177.5 points compared to the 175.5 points in the fourth quarter of 2018, while the business confidence index increased to 151 points.
The survey of consumer confidence and the survey of business confidence were undertaken by Market Research Services on behalf of the Jamaica Chamber of Conference (JCC).
Managing Director of Market Research Services, Don Anderson, said consumers’ expectations for jobs is at the heart of the surge in consumer confidence.
In addition, the index was driven by consumers’ views on government initiatives, as well as their observations of ongoing infrastructural changes.
“Especially over the last three years, consumers have been buoyed by the prospects of new jobs, particularly in the construction sector, the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector and to a lesser extent in the tourism sector. Over the last three years, the consumer’s confidence has been consistent, and it is clear that consumers are upbeat about their prospects of getting a job,” Anderson said.
Regarding the business confidence index, he noted that companies remain bullish on their plans to invest.
According to the data, firms’ willingness to invest in new plants and equipment records the highest in the history of this survey, soaring to 159 points, surpassing the record set in the last quarter of 2018 (151 points).
More than 70 per cent of all firms surveyed continued to agree that the time was right for expansion. More than 56 per cent of the firms surveyed indicated having solid plans to increase the level of capital investment in their firms over the next 12 months.
In addition, expectations for economic growth increased marginally to 67 per cent compared to 65 per cent in the last quarter of 2018.
Businesses also report that they expect the economy to improve in the next 12 months.