Business Barometer: Trinidad & Tobago CEO Survey published
T&T will face a third consecutive year of contracted growth in 2017 and forecasts remained mixed, business sentiment amongst many of the C-suite executives interviewed had improved.
The latest edition of the Business Barometer: Trinidad & Tobago CEO Survey by the global research and consultancy firm Oxford Business Group (OBG) points to signs of a possible economic recovery and brighter outlook, on the back of heightened activity across the energy sector.
As part of its latest survey, OBG asked dozens of high-level executives from across the country’s industries a wide-ranging series of questions on a face-to-face basis aimed at gauging business sentiment.
From the business leaders surveyed, 60.7% said they were likely or very likely to make a capital investment in the next 12 months, up from 44% in November 2016. In response to a separate question, 57.1% of respondents said they felt positive about local business conditions, significantly higher than the 18% reported last year.
Asked about T&T’s current tax environment (business and personal), the majority (67.8%) of respondents rated it as competitive or very competitive on a global scale.
However, business leaders voiced concerns about key attributes missing in the workplace, with 50% and 32.1% citing leadership and customer service skills respectively as those in greatest demand.
Commenting on the results, Jaime Pérez-Seoane de Zunzunegui, OBG’s regional editor for North Africa and The Americas, said that while T&T will face a third consecutive year of contracted growth in 2017 and forecasts remained mixed, business sentiment amongst many of the C-suite executives interviewed had improved.
“Promising developments in the energy sector driven by new projects coming on-stream, together with an uptick in exploration activity, may indicate early signs of recovery that could spill over into other sectors of the economy,” he said.
Pérez-Seoane noted that the IMF had forecast real GDP growth of 1.9% for T&T next year in its latest World Economic Outlook.
“Significantly, the private sector looks ready to take the lead in pursuing a much-needed shift in the economic paradigm,” he said. “Recent initiatives from the public sector, which seek to facilitate manufacturing and exports should go some way towards helping in this regard. Overall, our results show a renewed wave of optimism, alongside a widespread willingness to invest and work towards economic recovery.”