There was a slight dip in business confidence during the first quarter of 2018 when compared to the last three months of 2017.
The Business Confidence index dipped to 136.5 points for the period January to March, just below the 2017 average of 138.6 points.
The Jamaica Chamber of Commerce released the latest Survey of Business and Consumer Confidence on Tuesday morning.
Don Anderson, Managing Director of Market Research Services, who conducted the survey, said the dip in confidence was too small to be considered a change in business sentiment.
He said it should more be considered a normalizing of confidence.
Mr Anderson explained that changes that influenced the dip were mostly declines in business profit outlook, expectations for the economy and price forecasts.
“Business confidence dipped at virtually every point at which the indices are measured; businesses are less confident about the anticipated growth in the economy,” he explained.
Nevertheless, he said the current outlook does not reflect a “doom and gloom” scenario, simply “a dip” which needs to be watched.
He explained that on the basis that “the confidence level has been very high, businesses have been very bullish about the economy and the way in which the economy has been growing, so when we have a dip it simply means we need to watch, because again the trend is really the most important factor.”
Unlike the situation prevailing in respect of the business sector, consumer confidence increased in the first quarter of 2018.
The Consumer Confidence Index was at 156.4 points, up from 148 points in the last quarter of 2017 and was the highest in the last two years.
Mr Anderson said income expectations over the next twelve months are driving this increased optimism.