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03 Mar

Written by Adam Thorp

Dun & Bradstreet's February Business Expectations Survey Qu2 2016

The results from Dun & Bradstreet’s February Business Expectations Survey have highlighted a sharp decline in expectations for the second quarter, with businesses issuing gloomy forecasts for the three-month period to June 2016.

Dun & Bradstreet’s Business Expectations Index, the average of the survey’s measures of Sales, Profits, Employment and Capital Investment, has fallen to 13.2 points for the second quarter of 2016, down 5.7 points from 18.9 points for Q1 2016, and a fall of 6.9 points from 20.1 points for Q2 2015. Nonetheless, it is significantly higher than the 10-year average of 7.0 points.

The slippage in business expectations is across the board with expected sales, profits, employment and new capital expenditure slipping to their lowest level in around two years. Likely impacts are the global financial markets and policy uncertainty with the upcoming election.

  • The Profit Expectations Index, 11.6, is at its lowest point since late 2012.
  • Sales 25.4 points
  • Employment 7.7 points
  • the Capital Investment Index fell to a single digit figure (7.8 points) for the first time in more than two years.

D&B aren’t ringing the alarm bells yet, however, several recent high profile corporate administrations and profit downgrades appear to be weighing on business sentiment leading into the end-of-financial year.”
Some particularly pessimistic figures came from the Services sector, which saw sharp declines across every index, particularly Sales expectations, which plunged from 36.5 points to 14.7 points.

The Actuals Index, however, fared better, with the figure improving from 11.0 points to 12.5 points, marking its third consecutive increase. The latest figure, based on statistics from the fourth quarter of 2015, also stands significantly higher than the 10-year average of 1.1 points.

In particular, the Actual Employment Index improved from 5.5 points to 7.9 points, while Actual Sales increased from 19.1 points to 23.1 points.

Read the full report here