Foreign exchange biggest impediment in business: survey

Foreign exchange (FX) issues is the number one impediment to business right now, a survey has found.

According to the 2023 100 CEO survey conducted by Business Advantage PNG, this is followed by unreliable telecommunications and security and law and order issues in the country.

Westpac senior economist Justin Smirk, when speaking during the announcement of the survey findings during a business breakfast yesterday, said the demand for FX on Westpac’s order books have grown.

The survey found that lack of forex is the most critical impediment to businesses, however, it was not like that from the years 2016 to 2019, as liquidity improved, forex dropped down the list of impediments.

By 2020, however, it was back and was only beaten in 2021 by Covid restrictions.

Last year, it eased further to 3.5 per cent, it’s lowest since 2015. Its score of 4.1 per cent is the highest since 2017. On the bright side, the survey charts a lift in business optimism for profits, investments and employment.

Concern for inflation has also lifted to a level not seen since 2013.
Other results of the survey indicated that:
– 29.73 per cent of businesses saw their profits slightly exceeded expectations,
– 58.33 per cent of businesses anticipate their profits for 2023 to exceed 2022,
– 41.03 per cent of are planning a substantial increase in investment on 2022, and
– 41.03 per cent are planning a slight increase in staff.

The survey identified that business conditions bounced back to levels not seen since 2019.

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