Capacity utilisation in industry and commerce increased by 15.5 percentage points in 2022 to 63% from 45.5% in 2021, boosted primarily by performance in information and communication technology, transportation and storage, and mining and quarrying, where capacity was above 75%.
However, the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) has warned that there is a need to improve in terms of implementing recommendations within respective jurisdictions if the country is to improve the business operating environment.
“Without implementation of these recommendations, the business environment will likely remain depressed, thus resulting in minimum economic activities across various sectors,” reads the 2022 ZNCC State of the Industry and Commerce Survey.
Overall, only 23% of respondents confirmed that the ZNCC 2021 Survey recommendations were implemented satisfactorily. However, the majority of respondents said the implementation of recommendations was inadequate, and 22% of stakeholders said the recommendations were never implemented.
“However, it can be noted that it may take time for the implemented recommendations to make the desired impact, and the economic environment can change, which then makes some earlier recommendations inapplicable.”
According to the survey results, some sectors were operating at more than 75% capacity. These include transportation and storage and mining and quarrying, which were at 80% and 83%, respectively.
Operating below the 50% mark were electricity, gas, steam, and air conditioning supply. Capacity utilization in the sector was 40% in 2022, up from 39% in 2021.
Agriculture, hunting, fishing, and forestry capacity utilization fell to 58% in 2022 from 80% in 2021.
In terms of business confidence or the respondents’ perception of the current situation compared to 2021 and their expectation of 2022, 77% considered the general domestic economic situation in 2022 to have deteriorated compared to 2021, while 15% of stakeholders viewed the 2022 situation as improved.
“The business confidence index reflected by firms and the business community is generally negative for the upcoming year of 20223,” it said.
The combined diffusion index of BCI of the industry and commerce declined to minus 42 from a figure of 8 which was recorded in 2021.
The survey suggested ensuring a stable power supply, improving the efficiency of trading levels on the interbank market, and maintaining policy consistency – Harare