This survey provides an important overview of the business sentiment in Gozo.  From a ‘business conditions’ perspective one can observe a slight worsening of the business outlook.  The cross section of businesses who highlighted that their business conditions have worsened over the previous six-month period increased from 16% to 20% between September 2023, and March 2024.  Nonetheless, it is also to be noted that those who highlighted that their business conditions are expected to improve over the next 6 months increased from 33% in September 2023, to 38% in March 2024.  This may also be corroborated by the fact that those who have increased the number of employees over the previous six-month period decreased.  On the other hand, those who plan to increase the number of employees over the upcoming six months increased. This means that the economic conditions at present are very buoyant, which is also a reflection of the current economic conditions which are being affected by a continuous changing international scenario.  In this situation it is important to note that businesses in Gozo are not immune to these situations.

Though the lack of suitable employees to man operations remained a constant business concern, other concerns varied between both periods.  The survey also enabled interviewees to highlight other business concerns.  The lack of parking availability in Victoria, increased regulatory and compliance procedures, accessibility (increase in waiting times, and significant increase in traffic between the two islands), and construction (both in terms of overdevelopment and the lack of incentives to substitute the lower registration tax which was removed in the last budget) topped the concerns of business operators.

Confidence in the current economic scenario remained relatively strong, as those businesses who highlighted that they carried out any capital investment over the previous six-month period increased from 46% in September 2023 to 51% in March 2024.  Moreover, those who plan to carry out an investment over the following six-month period remained stable (57.5%).  Nonetheless, concerns about inflation remained high among the local business community, and relatively stable over both periods.

This survey has also shown that awareness about issues such as climate change and its impact on business is present among the business community, though much needs to be done to increase further this awareness.  It also shows that this awareness is being translated into concrete actions to prepare their businesses.

You can access the survey here.

You can access the infographic highlighting the main points of the survey here.