The Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting conducted the seventh Monthly enterprise survey, “Ukrainian business in wartime,” for November 2022. The project aims at the rapid collection of information about the current state of the economy at the enterprise level.
The survey results showed a trend toward deterioration of expectations and assessments of the business climate and the overall economic environment. Thus, in November, the share of those who assess the overall economic situation positively decreased from 5.8% to 2.1%. At the same time, the share of those who assess the overall economic environment as bad decreased from 39.3% to 37.7%. Expectations regarding the economic situation at the enterprise and in the country in the six-month have worsened. The share of “pessimists” regarding the expected changes at the enterprise did not increase significantly, from 28.8% to 30.9%, while the share of “optimists” decreased by one and a half times, from 21.0% to 13.8%.
Production volumes decreased compared to the previous month, and expectations regarding their changes for the next three months worsened. The share of enterprises whose production decreased slightly grew from 21.6% to 23.5%. And the share of enterprises that reported an increase in production decreased from 17.3% in October to 8.3% in November. The percentage of enterprises planning to increase production for the next three months decreased from 29.1% in October to 16.9% in November, while the share of those planning to reduce production increased slightly, from 12.4% to 13. 4%
At the same time, business plans for the next two years remain optimistic, although the level of uncertainty in the two-year horizon has increased for the first time. The percentage of those planning to reduce their activities in the next two years increased in November from 6.3% to 11.6%. And the share of respondents planning to stay at the current level remained almost unchanged at 56.7% (it was 56.3% in October). The level of uncertainty for the first time for this expectations period increased from 42.3% to 54.2%
The level of uncertainty in the six-month horizon has not changed, and the uncertainty in the short term has slightly decreased. The share of respondents who could not forecast changes in the financial and economic situation at the enterprise in the six months decreased from 45.9% to 43.8%. And the percentage of those unable to predict the overall economic environment in the country decreased from 49.8% to 48.7%. The percentage of uncertainty for stocks of finished goods, after a two-fold increase in October, decreased by 9% percentage points, from 23.1% in October to 13.8% in November.
Electricity, water, and heat supply outages became the number one problem for the first time. The share of enterprises that faced this problem reached 78%. Rising prices for raw materials/supplies/goods ranked second among business obstacles (68%) and war-related work hazards ranked third (46%).
Missile attacks have not yet had a critical impact on production volumes, although they have held back the active recovery that has been ongoing since the spring. In November, a sharp decrease in the share of enterprises operating at 100% was recorded, compared to pre-war volumes – to 3% (in the three previous months, this indicator remained at 8%). However, 43% of respondents worked at almost full capacity in November (36% in October).
Enterprises have run out of opportunities to actively resume export activities, although micro-business exports have increased. In November, 17% of companies reported that they stopped exporting after February 24 and were unable to resume it. It is at the level of October (17%) and September (16%). Government economic policy assessments have improved, and it proves the growth of confidence. Thus, 23% of the heads of enterprises surveyed evaluated the state policy on business support positively. It is more than in October 2022 (16%).