Business Survey Respondents Report A Sales, Revenue Spike – St. Lucia Times

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The most recent Business Performance Survey (Take 10) by the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, conducted during February and March 2024, provides its usual comprehensive analysis of the current state and outlook of the business environment in St. Lucia.

The survey reviews key performance indicators, challenges, and expectations of the business community reflected by the respondents.

Main Findings:

 Business Performance and Outlook

 Sales and Revenue; The majority of respondents reported growth in sales and revenue. Specifically, 77% of respondents indicated increased sales in Q4 2023 compared to Q3 2023, and 71% reported higher sales in Q4 compared to the same period in 2022. This positive trend suggests the ongoing economic recovery, following the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, continues.

Profitability and Turnover: Businesses appear optimistic about their future performance, with 74% expecting turnover to increase in 2024 and 68% anticipating higher profitability. The comparison between BPS Take 9 and Take 10 shows an improved profitability outlook.

Investment and Workforce:

 Investment Plans: There is a notable intention among businesses to increase investment, with 45% planning to boost investment in 2024. This indicates confidence in future economic conditions and a commitment to growth.

Workforce Growth: Workforce expansion remains a priority, with 35% of respondents increasing their workforce in the last quarter of 2023 and 32% planning to hire more staff in Q1 2024; however, 63% reported difficulties in recruiting suitable staff, particularly in skilled manual, technical, and professional roles.

Human Resources Challenges: The BPS once again identified significant challenges with the availability and cost of human resources.

Many businesses reported difficulties in finding adequately trained staff, a problem possibly exacerbated by the migration of skilled workers seeking better opportunities. The rising costs of retaining and attracting staff is also a major concern.

The Chamber continues to suggest that education reform and investment in (technical) training are urgently needed to address these issues.

SOURCE: Saint Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture