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Brunei Darussalam Central Bank Business Sentiment Index (BSI) For October 2022



PRESS RELEASE

BUSINESS SENTIMENT INDEX (BSI)

FOR BRUNEI DARUSSALAM FOR OCTOBER 2022

 

1.       Brunei Darussalam Central Bank (BDCB) today published Brunei Darussalam's Business Sentiment Index (BSI) for the month of October 2022. The index is based on surveys conducted on more than 600 micro, small, medium and large-sized businesses from 11 economic sectors in Brunei Darussalam, across all districts. 

2.    The monthly index is designed to measure the level of business confidence/sentiment in the country covering various aspects including current and future business conditions; investments; employment of workers; as well as costs of running the businesses. Therefore, BSI serves as a leading macroeconomic indicator with its forward-looking element.  

3.      The BSI and sub-indices can be interpreted as below:

BSI Oct 2022 Img 01.png

4.      There are 9 sub-indices within the BSI. The Current Business Conditions sub-index, being the main headline index for the BSI, was 49.9 in October 2022. In general, private sector businesses were slightly pessimistic towards their business conditions in October 2022 compared to the previous month. This is due to expectations of a slowdown in activities, reduced domestic spending with the borders fully opened, as well as the rainy season which affects operations in some sectors. Meanwhile, some businesses expected improvement in business performance with increased activities, as well as sales and projects compared to September 2022. Looking ahead, businesses were generally optimistic of their performance in November 2022 as indicated by the index for one month (1M) ahead, which stood at 50.4. This was driven by expectations of more projects and activities in November 2022.

​​​BSI Oct 2022 Img 02.png

5.      The Investment sub-index was 50.3 for the current month, 50.0 for one month (1M) ahead, and 50.2 for three months (3M) ahead. This indicates that, in general, businesses expected to increase their investment expenditures in October 2022 and in the next 3 months. The increase, amongst others, may be attributed to system upgrades; purchase of materials for projects; machinery and equipment; company vehicles; renovations and expansion of premises; opening of new outlets/branches; and the stocking up of inventory. Meanwhile, for the month of November 2022, the level of investment expenditure is expected to remain the same as the previous month. 

6.      The Employment sub-index was 50.3 for the current month, and 50.3 for 1M ahead. This indicates that businesses generally expected to hire more employees in October and November 2022, in line with expansion plans and increased number of projects. Moreover, a number of companies have indicated plans to continue hiring as they were still experiencing shortage of workers due to the difficulty in retaining local employees and bringing in foreign workers.

7.      The Costs sub-index was 50.3 for the current month, and 50.4 for 1M ahead. Companies generally expected the costs of running their businesses to increase in October and November 2022. Several factors were cited such as increased costs of food ingredients and raw materials such as cement and stones; higher shipment costs; maintenance works; project and salary expenses as well as recruitment costs; increased marketing activities; and purchase of flight tickets for outgoing foreign employees.

8.      In terms of economic sectors, 4 out of 11 sectors recorded optimism in October 2022. The Finance and Insurance sector showed the largest increase in sentiment with better performance expected towards the end of the year. Construction sector also expected an improvement in their performance due to increased projects. On the other hand, 6 sectors showed pessimism in October 2022, citing fewer projects and sales due to more people travelling abroad and the rainy season. The largest decrease in sentiment was from the Transport and Communication sector which was mainly due to a seasonal slowdown. Meanwhile, businesses in the Real Estate and Ownership of Dwellings sector reported similar sentiments regarding their business conditions in October 2022 compared to September 2022.

BSI Oct 2022 Img 03.png

9.      In terms of sentiment by business size, only medium-sized businesses reported optimism in October 2022 with improved overall business conditions due to more projects and demand in general. On the other hand, small-sized businesses reported pessimism due to the general downturn and inclement weather. Meanwhile, micro- and large-sized businesses expected similar business conditions to last month.

 BSI Oct 2022 Img 04.png

10.    The time-series charts for the BSI and its sub-indices since August 2020 can be found in ANNEX 1. For more information on BSI, members of the public can refer to the technical notes on the methodology and statistics in BDCB website at www.bdcb.gov.bn and follow updates on the BSI through future press releases and BDCB's Instagram account @centralbank.brunei.

Brunei Darussalam Central Bank

Date:     1 Jamadilawal 1444H / 25 November 2022M 
Ref:        BDCB/COMMS/3

Download Malay verison here Download Englsih version here
Download BSI Methodology (technical notes)

ANNEX 1

Business Conditions

BSI Oct 2002 Annex 01.png 

Note: For 1M Ahead Business Conditions, the result compares expected business conditions in the month ahead compared to the current month. 

For Business Conditions sub-index, above 50 indicates expansion / optimism compared to the previous month. Index at 50 indicates similar / no change compared to the previous month while below 50 indicates contraction / less optimism compared to the previous month. 

Investments

BSI Oct 2002 Annex 02.png 

Note: For 1M Ahead Investments, the result compares expected investment in the next month compared to the current month while the 3M Ahead Investment, the result compares expected investments 3 months ahead compared to the current month.

For Investments sub-index, above 50 indicates increased investment compared to the previous month. Index at 50 indicates similar / no change compared to the previous month while below 50 indicates reduced investment compared to the previous month.

Employment

BSI Oct 2002 Annex 03.png 

Note: For 1M Ahead Employment, the result compares expected employment in the next month compared to the current month.

​For Employment sub-index, above 50 indicates more new hires compared to the previous month. Index at 50 indicates similar / no change compared to the previous month while below 50 indicates reduction in employee headcount compared to the previous month. 

Costs

 BSI Oct 2002 Annex 04.png

Note: For 1M Ahead Costs, the result compares expected costs in the next month compared to the current month.

For Costs sub-index, above 50 indicates an increase in costs and conversely for below 50. Index at 50 indicates costs were more or less the same in the current month compared to previous month.

Sectoral BSI – August 2020 to October 2022

 BSI Oct 2002 Annex 05.png

Note: An index above 50 indicates expansion / optimism compared to the previous month. Index at 50 indicates no change compared to the previous month while below 50 indicates contraction / less optimism compared to the previous month.

Sentiment by Business Size

BSI Oct 2002 Annex 06.png

Note: An index above 50 indicates expansion / optimism compared to the previous month. Index at 50 indicates similar / no change compared to the previous month while below 50 indicates contraction / less optimism compared to the previous month.​

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