Business optimism increased in April 2022 compared to March 2022, according to a current Verdict study, as travel restrictions due to COVID-19 were eased and demand in various sectors recovered.

Verdict conducted the survey to examine trends in business optimism during COVID-19, as reflected in companies’ views on their future growth prospects amid the pandemic.

An analysis of the responses to the survey, recorded in March 2022, shows that optimism about the prospects for future growth has increased by two percentage points to 57% in April 2022 from 55% in March 2022

Respondents who are optimistic decreased by two percentage points to 22% in April from 24% in March, while those with a lot of optimism increased to 35% in April from 31% in March.

Pessimistic respondents remained unchanged at 13%, while those who were very pessimistic fell by two percentage points to 14% in April.

The percentage of respondents who are neutral (neither optimistic nor pessimistic) remains unchanged – 16%.

The analysis is based on 271 responses received from readers of Verdict websites between April 1 and April 30, 2022.

Increasing demand and easing COVID constraints increase optimism

Business confidence in the UK was stable at 33% in April, remaining above the historical average of 28% and significantly higher than the levels recorded during the first wave of the pandemic, according to the latest business barometer of Lloyds Bank. Business confidence in the manufacturing sector showed a significant improvement from 35% in March to 43% in April, followed by that in the retail sector, which improved from 28% to 29%. However, inflationary pressures, supply chain problems and the Russia-Ukraine crisis remain challenges for business.

Business Barometer of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business® The short-term index shows that the confidence of small businesses in the short term has increased slightly to 60.8, which is a monthly profit of 0.7 points. Quebec and Ontario recorded the highest monthly gains of five points. From the sector’s point of view, the hotel sector showed the highest increase in the short term with a profit of 16 points due to easing of restrictions. Inflationary pressures, supply chain problems and labor shortages continued to affect businesses in April.

Italy reported a slight increase in business confidence from 105.3 to 105.5, according to the Istat economic sentiment indicator of the Italian National Statistical Institute. The manufacturing, construction and retail sectors report improved business confidence. Business confidence in manufacturing remained stable at level 110, while growing from 160.1 to 160.6 in the construction sector and growing from 100.3 to 103.4 in the retail sector.

Statistics from the Netherlands (CBS) reported an increase in producer confidence in the Netherlands from 8.7 in March to 10.8 in April. Manufacturers are positive about future growth prospects based on orders and finished products. The electrical and mechanical engineering industries reported the highest increase in confidence from 17 in March to 22.8 in April.

Business sentiment in Germany rose from 90.8 points in March to 91.8 points in April, according to the Ifo Institute for Economic Research’s ifo business climate index. Germany’s economy has shown signs of resilience following the initial shock of the Russia-Ukraine crisis. Improvements in the business climate were registered in services, transport and logistics and hospitality.

The National Bank of Belgium reported an increase in business confidence in April due to an improved business climate. The utilization rate of production capacity reached 81.8% in April, which is higher than the long-term average and 78.5% reported in January.

Business confidence in the US manufacturing sector remained positive as supply chain concerns eased and hiring increased, according to the S&P Global US Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index. (PMI). PMI increased from 58.8 in March to 59.2 in April as operating conditions improved across the sector. However, inflation and geopolitical tensions have posed challenges for the sector.

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