Business confidence declined in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Local firms have not been optimistic about future business since the second quarter of 2019 which reflects a continuous downward trend.

These findings were made available today, through the 2019 4th quarter business and consumer confidence indices report.

With three consecutive periods of decline, Jamaica’s business confidence has plunged.

The uncertainty around the climate for investment and expansion as well as non-profitability are being seen as the main reasons behind this decline.

CEO of Market Research and Pollster Don Anderson says the index of business confidence fell to 131.3 points in Q4 2019 from 141.2 in Q3. A change of -20 index points has been recorded since the first quarter from 151.3 points to 131.3 points in the fourth quarter.

Businesses are also blaming the decline on the fluctuation of the Jamaican dollar and a high crime rate.

In addition the large majority of firms indicated plans for capital investment in their firms over the next 12 months.

A significant 32 per cent also intend to invest in human capital while 26 per cent plan to make a financial investment in their firm, according to the survey.

Meanwhile consumer confidence remains stable.

Furthermore, the majority of consumers do not anticipate purchasing either a home or a car but a significant forty seven percent anticipate taking a vacation in the year ahead.