In the Central Bank of The Bahamas’ (CBOB) Business Conditions and Expectations Survey for January through June 2019, businesses reveal that they have noted a decline in profits, though the survey found they are optimistic about the next six months of the year.
The CBOB survey explains that local businesses have found that the cost of inventory, goods and services, wages and investments increased during the survey period.
Information on inflation from the report explains that inflation has increased by 1.7 percentage points to 2.9 percent during the twelve months to March.
“This mainly reflected the accumulated pass-through effects of the hike in the VAT rate and higher oil prices in prior periods,” the survey states.
More than half of those surveyed (57 percent) report that they have noted a decline in profits, and 24 percent of those surveyed report that their profits had increased.
But while businesses reported largely negatively about the past six months, their future outlook, as stated in the survey results, is largely optimistic, though “many expect prices will continue to rise”.
The report also reveals: “Sixty-eight percent and 55 percent respectively, of businesses reported that average weekly hours and the total number of employees remained relatively the same. Seventy-one percent of businesses noted that debts owed to banks and other creditors have remained unchanged.”
In terms of oil prices, the CBOB report explains that global expectations are that crude oil prices will stabilize or decline from current levels, possibly bringing some relief at the pumps and at the electricity meter.
“In June 2019, crude oil prices fell by 11.5 percent, relative to the previous month, to $64.45 per barrel, reflecting robust global supply,” the report states.