Construction, tourism sector predicted to perform better

A survey conducted by the central bank Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) has predicted that the tourism and construction sector will perform significantly better in the last quarter of the year.

The Quarterly Business Survey is conducted by MMA at the end of every quarter through a survey sent to local businesses. 174 construction, tourism and wholesale and retail companies were invited to take part in the most recent survey out of which 99 companies participated.

The survey was conducted from September 25 - October 6.

According to the Quarterly Business Survey carried out for the third quarter of the current year, most respondents from the construction sector reported an increase in the level of business activity in the third quarter when compared with the second quarter. Activity in the construction sector is expected to improve up to 17% during the final quarter.

Respondents in the construction sector highlighted access to credit and cost of finance as the most significant factors limiting their business growth. Additionally, cost of raw materials, shortage of skilled labour, delays in payment, competition within their own sector and regulatory framework were also emphasised as important factors that limit business growth.

While the third quarter of the year coincides with the tourism "off peak season", the tourism sector reported a decline of 67% in performance. While bookings decreased by 35%, the average room rate also suffered a decline. However, with the commencement of the peak season, tourism sector is anticipated to perform significantly better.

According to the survey report, respondents from the tourism sector cited competition within the sector and cost of labour as the most significant factors limiting their business growth. Additional factors reported by the respondents include shortage of both skilled and local labour, cost of finance and insufficient demand, said MMA's report.