Economic trends from a business point of view (May 2023)

Nothing can limit optimism: May 2023 new monthly enterprise survey wave 13 results

On June 14, 2023, the Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting” (IER) held an online event: “Economic trends from the business point of view (May 2023),” within the framework of the project “Support for the Public Initiative “For Fair and Transparent Customs.”

During the event, the results of the thirteenth monthly enterprise managers’ survey “Ukrainian business in wartime,” conducted in April 2023, were presented.

In May 2023, against the background of escalating missile attacks, business continued to have an optimistic mood, although, in the long-term horizon, uncertainty increased – these are the main results of the thirteenth wave of the new monthly enterprise survey, the presentation of which took place on June 14, 2023. “It seems that nothing can limit the optimism of Ukrainian business,” said Oksana Kuziakiv, the executive director at IER, during the presentation.

The business has high expectations for the near future. Thus, in May, compared to April, the share of enterprises that plan to reduce production for the next three-four months decreased from 6.1% in April to 4.0%. At the same time, there was a decrease in the share of enterprises that plan to increase production, practically unchanged (50.2% in April and 49.0% in May).

The aggregate indicator of industry prospects increased by 1 point (from 0.14 to 0.15 on a scale of -1 (poor) to +1 (good). It was driven by improved near-term production expectations and a higher assessment of new order volumes.

Despite optimistic expectations in the short term, the distant future continues to be uncertain: 56.6% of respondents could not answer the question about their plans for the next two years. Among those who answered the question, the majority do not plan changes. We should note that despite the uncertainty, “optimists” outnumber pessimists, so 24.4% of respondents expect production to expand, and 4.1% expect a reduction. Compared to April, the shares of “optimists” and “pessimists” decreased, while the share of those who do not plan changes increased from 63.4% to 71.3%.

Rising prices for raw materials and supplies, logistical problems in the country, and a decrease in demand top the rating of obstacles to doing business in May 2023. The importance of the obstacle “unsafe to work” increased again in May after the intensification of missile strikes on Ukrainian cities by the Russian Federation. The share of enterprises that chose “unsafe to work” as an obstacle to doing business, after decreasing to 25% in April, increased again to 32% of respondents in May. “Such results show that security issues and how Ukraine can protect its territory from terrorist missile attacks by the Russian Federation are very important for economic recovery,” Oksana Kuziakiv noted.

A third of the respondents felt a lack of personnel; this indicator remains without significant changes. The share of respondents who believe it has become more difficult to find skilled workers decreased from 27% in April to 24% in May. 91.1% of respondents do not plan to change the number of workers at the enterprise.

Corruption is not a significant problem, according to the survey results. It ranks last on the list of obstacles. Only 4% of respondents indicated that corruption is an obstacle to doing business.

During the presentation, experts drew attention to regional differences. “The most difficult situation is in the regions where military actions are taking place,” says Yevhen Angel, a senior research fellow at the IER. According to the survey, only 3% of enterprises in Zaporizhzhya and 15% of enterprises in Kharkiv regions are working at full or almost full capacity compared to pre-war times, while in Lviv, Ternopil, and Ivano-Frankivsk regions, they are almost 100%. In Kyiv city, they are 24%. In the Chernihiv region, they are 50%, and in the Kyiv region, they are 63%.

✅ Other survey results are in the presentation.

thumbnail of _NRES_May_2023_eng_

✅You can also watch the presentation video here:

For reference: the field stage of the survey was conducted from May 15 to 31, 2023; telephone interviews were conducted with representatives of 563 enterprises of all sizes located in 22 of 27 regions of Ukraine.

The new monthly enterprise survey has been conducted by the IER since May 2022 within the “Economic Analytics in Wartime” direction, which is part of the “Public Initiative “For Fair and Transparent Customs” project, financed by the European Union and co-financed by the Renaissance Foundation and Atlas Network.

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