Buoyant year for business expected
Business is confident of a buoyant year with expectations of rising employment, improved retail prices and higher profits, according to a survey by Dun & Bradstreet Information Services.
The survey of nearly 500 respondents discovered a rebound in confidence among the territory's retailers.
The new confidence is a result of improving expectations about the strength of the economy and an anticipated windfall from a 16 per cent rise in tourism.
Manufacturers expected a jump in new factory orders during the first quarter while sales in both the property and retail markets were expected to remain strong.
'The property market rally is likely to result in an increased spending on durable goods such as furniture and household appliances as more people move to new homes,' Dun & Bradstreet said.
'Construction activities in the private sector are also therefore stimulated on the domestic front.' Additional demand for locally produced goods would result from a rise in consumer demand in Japan and the United States.
Employment opportunities in the construction and service sectors would continue to grow and this would further contribute to the rally in domestic demand.
'Retailers are becoming more optimistic for the upcoming quarter,' Dun & Bradstreet said.
'Apart from increased local demand, increasing tourist arrivals also contribute to the sentiment.' The survey found that consumer habits had been influenced by the recent downturn.