Business leaders strike optimistic note on economic prospects, Chamber survey finds

Optimism among businesses in Malta spiked before FATF greylisting as they express confidence in improving economic conditions • Trouble finding workers is principle challenge

Business confidence has surged although companies are finding it difficult to recruit staff
Business confidence has surged although companies are finding it difficult to recruit staff

Business leaders have struck an optimistic note about the economy’s prospects in the third quarter, according to the Malta Confidence Index released by Vistage Malta.

The survey done in collaboration with the Chamber of Commerce found that the Confidence Index for the coming three months increased to 148.6 from 87.6 before Malta was greylisted by the Financial Action Task Force.

Optimism among businesses in Malta has spiked with all six of the factors that comprise the index showing significant improvements over the previous quarter.

The proportion of business leaders that felt the economy improved, grew from 7% to 26%. Almost two-thirds (64%) of business leaders felt the economic conditions will improve over the next 12 months, more than double the 29% recorded last quarter.

This increase in confidence among local business leaders is reflected in projections for their business in the year ahead.

The proportion of businesses anticipating increased revenues has grown from 33% last quarter to 59%. Businesses projecting increased profits jumped over 30 points from 20% in to 51%.

However, the survey revealed that the ability to find and retain talent may restrict the achievement of the optimistic revenue projections.

Employee retention has decreased for 18% of businesses, but more significantly, 77% report trouble finding workers at a variety of levels.

These challenges are impacting businesses’ ability to meet customer demand with 61% of leaders indicating that challenges in hiring staff are limiting their ability to operate at full capacity.

When asked about why they believe employees might leave their organisation, top answers from those facing such challenges included demand for higher salaries (64%), better career prospects (33%) and a few (8%) indicated flexibility as a factor.

The survey collected data from 199 business leaders and is part of an ongoing project to map out business confidence.