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India's business confidence "down" by 4.1% in Q4 2015, profits by 8.3%, new orders by 7.3% on y-to-y basis

By Our Representative
A top business rating company has said that India's business confidence, for the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2015 has continued to fall, with “optimism value for net profits” declining by by 8.3% and “new orders” by 7.2% on “year to year” basis. It added, the composite business optimism index, at 122.0 during Q4 2015, decreased of 4.1% as compared to Q3 2015.
Dun & Bradstreet (D&B), which is considered the world’s leading source of global business information, said, this result is “based on the responses received” by it, adding, the assessment is also based on the “the political stalemate witnessed in Parliament on two critical pieces of legislation – the Land Acquisition Act and the Goods and Services Tax Bill.
D&B has suggested that failure to break the Parliament stalemate by the Modi government is reflected in its inability “to go ahead with its reform commitments”, denting “business confidence”.
D&B adds, “That apart, monsoon deficiency, weak new investment demand and rising global financial market volatility also operated as binding constraints on business sentiment.”
Dr Arun Singh, senior economist with the D&B, clarifies, “The index does not capture the impact of rate cuts by the Reserve Bank of India as the announcement was made post the survey period.”
He adds, “For business confidence to get a sharp boost, it is pertinent for the Government to shift up several gears from the slow drip-feed of reforms to targeted measures that are aimed at encouraging investment and correcting structural deficiencies in the economy.” Dr Singh says, “Going forward, the effectiveness of supply management measures to contain the impact of deficient monsoon would also play a crucial role in shaping business sentiment.”
The D&B business optimism index is widely claimed to recognise as a reliable indicator “which measures the pulse of the business community and serves as a reliable benchmark for investors. The index is arrived at on the basis of a quarterly survey of business expectations”, a communique issued by the D&B says.
The survey was conducted on a sample of companies that were selected randomly from D&B’s commercial credit file.
“The sample selected is a microcosmic representation of the country’s business community and includes companies from several sectors including basic goods, capital goods, intermediate goods, consumer durables, consumer non-durables and service sectors”, the communique adds.
Respondents to the survey were asked six standard questions regarding whether specified parameters viz., net sales, net profits, selling prices, new orders, inventories and employee levels, will register an increase, decline or show no change in the ensuing quarter as compared to the corresponding quarter of the previous year. The indices were then calculated by subtracting the percentage of respondents expecting decreases from those expecting increases.
Customers are known use D&B risk management solutions to mitigate risk, increase cash flow and drive increased profitability. The company's sales and marketing solutions analyses markets, locate prospects and increase revenue from new and existing customers.
“In 2014, D&B featured on the World’s Most Ethical Companies list in the Business Services category by Ethisphere, for the sixth consecutive year”, the communique said.

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