The third edition of the Business Barometer highlights a positive trend

December 5, 2023

On 5 December 2023, the third edition of the Business Barometer of the Republic of Moldova was launched. To assess the business climate and investment potential in the country, the Association of Investors from Romania, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry France-Moldova, in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry from Tiraspol, created an informative tool accessible to authorities, potential investors, and the general public. The barometer was developed with the financial support of the European Union through the Confidence Building Programme, implemented by UNDP.

The business barometer was evaluated at (-9) points, nearing equilibrium and highlighting a positive trend compared to previous waves of research. Issues related to the war in Ukraine, which severely affected 44% of respondents in December 2022, now impact only 24%, marking the most significant improvement recorded.

Compared to previous studies, more companies foresee an increase in turnover, although currently, there are slightly more companies expecting decreases than increases. The overall index stands at (-8), including (-17) on the left bank. Only in construction is the index positive (+3), while in agriculture, the index reaches a critical value (-47), indicating significant expectations of reduced turnover.

Profit was assessed positively, with more companies expecting profits than losses. However, the situation in Transnistrian region differs, with a profit index of (-32.2), while in other regions, it ranges from (+5.8) in Chișinău to (+16.2) in the North. Increases in profits are anticipated, especially by small companies (+21.1), those with local capital (+11.6), in trade (+9.5), construction (+6.9), industry (+10.8), and services (+14.6). In agriculture, profits are expected from a larger number of companies (+4.7).

Regarding investments, companies on the left bank have a positive sentiment (+25), contributing to a total index of -4. The Northern region recorded a negative index (-14), but in the rest of the country, more companies expect increases in investments, especially in construction (+14) and trade (+7). Furthermore, the construction sector recorded the most favourable assessment in the Business Barometer (0), followed by the services sector (-3).

Only companies with foreign and mixed capital presented a negative trend compared to May 2023, while a slight deterioration was observed in the agricultural sector.

The main obstacle faced by the business environment remains the increase in production prices, mentioned by 70% of respondents, compared to 67% in May and 78% in December 2022. These high proportions underline that the situation has not improved, and high prices continue to be a major impediment to business development. Similar to previous studies, the lack of skilled employees ranks second as a difficulty, registering an increase from 40-41% to 46%.

The business climate is perceived more favourably than in May 2023, especially compared to the previous year. However, on the left bank, the perception is more negative (-31), influencing the total to (-11). Overall, medium and large companies have a better perception of the business climate, while companies in agriculture and construction present the lowest perceptions, with (-28) and (-24) respectively.

The Business Barometer of the Republic of Moldova is a platform that systematizes responses from 400 economic agents from the right bank of the Nistru River and 60 companies from the left bank of the river surveyed. Both large and small companies have responded to questions regarding turnover, investments, profit, increase or decrease in the number of employees, assessment of dialogue with authorities, and overall perception of the country's economic situation.

The surveys are structured on six evaluation criteria: turnover, employment/HR management, investments, profit, development perspectives, and the general perception of the business climate.

This activity is carried out with the financial support of the European Union under the EU Confidence Building Measures Programme, implemented by UNDP Moldova.