Kenyans CEOs Express Increased Optimism in 2022 Elections Compared to 2017

Nairobi — The Kenyan CEO Business Confidence Survey 2022 has revealed a 37 per cent increase in optimism in the 2022 election compared to the 2017 election.

The survey prepared by the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) noted that most business executives are less jittery this time round and expect a stable economy after the August 9 election.

With the current CEO's Business Confidence Index standing at 61 points overall, the business executives also expressed optimism to hire additional full-time employees in the next six months, which will translate to increased business operations.

"This sentiment is reported against the backdrop of the ongoing war in Ukraine that has disrupted global value chains resulting in price increases in fuel, wheat, and fertilizer, which are critical inputs for Kenya's manufacturing and agriculture sector, coupled with the rise in inflation globally," said KEPSA CEO Carole Kariuki during the launch.

The Report developed in partnership with TIFA Research indicated that tourism and hospitality are the most optimistic sectors of the economy at an average confidence index of 68 points.

The optimism was attributed to the regulation of Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.

Building and construction together with wholesale and retail sectors followed, both standing at 62 index points.

Further, the report noted that business executives expect the economic conditions to improve across all industries compared to six months ago, rising from an average of 47 index points to 66 points for the economy and 69 index points for the respective industries.

" Looking into the future, the least optimistic sectors are finance & ICT, perhaps since businesses in these sectors were already experiencing growth relative to other sectors at the height of the Covid-19 Pandemic and do not expect much change for them in the coming six months," the report noted.

On the other hand, business executives remain skeptical about the possibility of reduced production costs due to the prevailing high fuel, raw materials, and other input costs that are expected to go up, thus projecting lower industry growth prospects over the next six months.

In turn, prices of goods and services sold to customers are expected to increase.

Under the Agriculture and Manufacturing sectors, the volume of goods produced is expected to increase as mentioned by most of the businesses.

"For the 23 percent expecting lower growth prospects for their companies and the 29 percent expecting lower growth prospects for their industries, these expectations were tied to failure to address the high-cost production, inflation, rise in fuel prices, change of government, and generally tough economic conditions," noted Victor Ogalo, KEPSA Deputy CEO in charge of KEPSA Business.

Even so, the report shows business executives are encouraged by the implementation of key policies and ongoing infrastructure improvement initiatives as well as the various business support subsidies by the government.

"CEOs are considered to have a helicopter view of the economy and their assessment of specific industries, and the overall economy provides investors and entrepreneurs with invaluable insight on the current and future economic conditions and performance in the country," said TIFA Research CEO Maggie Ireri.

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