Over half of respondents to a business confidence survey conducted by the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SICCI), are confident to see improvements to their business this year.
Sixty-one percent of respondents from 74 businesses surveyed believe their business or organisation will improve in 2018 while some 45 percent are confident of improvements also in the local business environment.
SICCI this week released findings of a Business Confidence Survey conducted in December 2017 with SICCI members covering all the industry sectors and different business sizes based on the number of employees.
Among other issues polled, there was a positive response to new investments in infrastructure and the exchanged support shown in the business community.
One-third of businesses however reported the need for improvement in Government services, while one-fifth of respondents still have security concerns.
The survey also found that businesses are finding it harder to get skilled or specialist staff and the same difficulty in getting unskilled staff.
Most businesses declared that their interest rates would remain the same. The largest changes expected in the next 12 months relate to average costs and total hours worked with average selling prices slightly up.
The survey also revealed that the greatest single factor limiting expansion to businesses is capacity, followed by demand and finance.
SICCI CEO Dennis Meone says the survey gives the Chamber an overview of the local business community forecast for this year.
“It is pleasing to note from the results an overall positive business confidence and commitment to increase or maintain investment levels,” said Mr Meone. “We feel that this survey provides a very good snapshot of the state of the private sector heading into 2018. I’d like to thank members who took the time to participate in this survey.”
The Business Confidence Survey 2018 is a redeveloped study by SICCI which will continue as an annual survey.