2010 Trading Conditions Survey Results

Gibraltar’s business community says: Short term outlook remains tough but longer term is brighter

Results from the Chamber’s annual Trading Conditions survey are in and at first glance the key trends are clear:

  • Respondents across all sectors are optimistic about Gibraltar’s prospects in the long term but they are now more cautious about the immediate future than they were twelve months ago.
  • Primary concerns of businesses are continued increases in costs during this period and increased competition from Spain and elsewhere. These competitors do not have the same high cost base as Gibraltar firms.
  • All sectors are waiting for the new corporation tax legislation to be published.
  • One third of respondents had been affected by one or more of the business collapses in the last 12 months.
  • Respondents said that 40% of their workforce were frontier workers highlighting the fact that Gibraltar continues to be an important economic engine for the Campo region.

The local business community in general and the Finance Centre in particular are eagerly awaiting clear guidance on the lower tax legislation due to come into force in six months’ time. Companies in many sectors are holding back investment decisions until there is certainty on this issue. This is having a knock-on effect of adding to a wider slowdown in Gibraltar’s economy.

Chamber President Nicholas Russo said, “We can see from the shops and restaurants in Main Street that there is definitely less money being spent than this time last year. People are being choosier. The survey’s results show that this is being replicated across many other business sectors in Gibraltar.

The business community has managed well so far, but after a long wet winter and with a more uncertain outlook for the next 12-18 months all businesses are looking to manage their costs and avoid job cuts. We urge the government to give this due consideration when preparing the forthcoming budget. Our members want to be sure that they can emerge from this downturn even more strongly than when it began in 2008 and we must continue to remain vigilant.”

The full result of the survey will be published in the forthcoming edition of B2B, the Chamber’s quarterly magazine.