The country’s business confidence index for the third quarter of this year stood in the negative as business leaders remained pessimistic of the country’s economic direction, a latest report shows.

The latest report released by the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) shows the composite business confidence index at a sub-optimal percentage of -29.6, a significant variance from the 2015 figure of -33.9 percent.

The political environment and macro-economic pressures for the period under review put a dent on the confidence of business leaders as alluded to by the CZI President, Mr Sifelani Jabangwe.

Despite the slump recorded in the third quarter of this year, expectations are that for the same period next year, the business condition would have improved.

The CZI quarterly survey aims to ascertain the views of business executives on five variables that are: the economic situation of the establishment, economic situation of the sector in which the particular business operates, the country’s economic situation, their sentiment on investment and their sentiment on their firms’ profitability as well as their expectations.

The business confidence index fluctuates between -100 and +100.

Positive value of the business confidence index indicates business optimism and a negative value indicates pessimism.

The index includes the purchasing managers index which shows overall quarter on quarter rating of 46.9, an indication of the work that is still needed to enhance the performance of the country’s economy.