Inaugural PTI survey finds buoyant sentiment in Pacific businesses

Pacific Island businesses are generally in a buoyant mood, as indicated by an inaugural quarterly survey of businesses in the region. Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) New Zealand last week announced the launch of the new PTI Business Intel Survey focusing on key economic themes of interest to Pacific businesses.

The survey, which will be conducted in the first half of the final month of each quarter (March, June, September and December), gauges activity across the Pacific Islands Forum countries with feedback received from a range of business stakeholders around the region each quarter.

It collects feedback from the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

The results of the quarter ended September 2018, the first in the series, indicate that businesses across the Pacific are in a buoyant mood. This resonates with official economic statistics reported across various Pacific nations including Fiji, though the official data is not as timely as the survey.

Access to credit is cited as the biggest factor holding Pacific Island businesses back. Sales ranked second. The factors limiting firms’ ability to expand were reasonably broad-based including capital, sales, capacity, skills and competition.

Across most developed countries, access to capital does not typically feature highly as a constraint on the ability to expand. A lack of sales or constraints in the form of labour shortages or capacity normally feature high. The high ranking of capital as a factor constraint across the Pacific highlights a key policy and economic issue.

The survey aims to help inform businesses and policy makers on economic trends by providing timely gauges of economic momentum and expectations for growth, employment and investment going forward. It is particularly relevant as an information source given New Zealand’s additional financial commitment to the Pacific region.

Results are processed by PTI NZ and Bagrie Economics, a boutique research firm that specialises in independent, authoritative analysis of the New Zealand economy and economic issues generally.

Although the survey is sentiment based, such sentiment-based surveys have proven to be effective barometers of economic activity around the globe, including in New Zealand. A key advantage of such surveys is that they are timely. It can often take considerable time for official statistics to be verified and released.

The Business Intel Survey is a partnership between PTI NZ and Bagrie Economics, which has extensive market experience and provides regular, reliable intelligence and insight independent of any financial organisation. This analysis is delivered via presentations, assistance with policy briefs and submissions, the creation of proprietary indicators, road shows or white label research.

Click on the cover image or here above to read the full survey.

For more information email PTI NZ Trade Development Manager Ian Furlong at ian.f@pacifictradeinvest.co.nz

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