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  • Spring Spirit: Are the clouds gathering for rain? Main economic trends in April 2023

    17.05.2023

    In May, the work results were good, and the expectations for the near future were positive, although slightly less optimistic than the previous month. These are the main findings of the twelfth wave of the "New Monthly Business Survey," presented on May 15, 2023.

     

    The production indicators of the enterprises continue to grow, but the expectations for the next three months, although positive, have slightly worsened. Uncertainty in the six- and three-month outlooks continues to decrease, except for exports and employment.

    According to Oksana Kuziakiv, Executive Director of the Institute for Economic Research (IER), "The distant future remains uncertain for businesses, and uncertainty is very high, even increasing by a few percentage points in April compared to March." In April, businesses continued the recovery of production, reaching the highest level of recovery since before the war. However, expectations and plans remain cautious for the next two years.

     

    During the presentation, Yevhen Angel, Senior Research Fellow at the IER, noted that the top obstacles for businesses remain the rising prices of raw materials, materials, and goods. Difficulties in transporting raw materials and goods within Ukraine are also significant obstacles. Businesses are experiencing a decrease in demand for products and services. On the other hand, issues with interruptions in heating, water, and electricity supply have practically disappeared.

    Financial and economic indicators in 2022 significantly declined, but starting from March, there has been an improvement. In April, the situation also showed positive values. Large enterprises have a significantly better situation than smaller ones. This month, the lowest result is observed in small businesses.

     

    In April, businesses accelerated their recovery, with the highest share of enterprises operating almost at full capacity over the past year. The percentage of non-operating enterprises remains relatively unchanged since last summer (3% in April).

    The trend of growth persisted for four consecutive months, but in April, it slightly decreased from 0.19 to 0.14 compared to March.

    Compared to March, the percentage of enterprises planning to increase production in the next 3-4 months decreased from 60.1% to 50.2%. The percentage of enterprises planning to reduce production increased from 3.8% in March to 6.1% in April. The share of enterprises planning to maintain production levels at the previous level decreased from 36.1% to 43.8%.

    After a decrease last month, businesses again reported intensified problems with finding personnel, both skilled and unskilled.

     

    Some businesses still cannot resume their export activities, particularly 16% of exporters did not export in the last 12 months, even though they exported before the war (13% as of March). Micro-businesses face even greater difficulties in exports - 44% of micro-enterprises did not export in the last 12 months. Exporters of construction materials and metallurgical enterprises were most affected, while the light industry suffered the least.

    Other survey results presented include:

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    Additional survey results can be found in the presentation video: https://fb.watch/kz3Ny3t_Uu/

    Note: The field stage of the twelfth wave lasted from April 17 to April 30, 2023. Business leaders compared the work results in April with March 2023 and gave forecasts for the next 2-3 or 6 months, depending on the question. In specific questions (where indicated), the work results were compared to the pre-war period (before February 24, 2022). The respondents provided forecasts for the next 3 months of work.

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