In the first quarter of this year, Vietnam ’s business confidence index dropped by three points from last year’s fourth quarter, according to the latest survey by WVB Vietnam Financial Intelligence Service Company.

This underlines the fact that many businesses are uncertain about the future in the domestic and global marketplace.

Nearly 44.5 percent of all surveyed businesses said they do not have any plans on recruiting more employees, while 14.8 percent will cut back the size of their workforce in the near future.

Regarding investments in fixed assets, nearly 44.5 percent of respondents said they will maintain their current levels, while 20.4 percent will reduce their investment and only 35 percent plan to spend more.

The survey also showed that over 56 percent of businesses believe that the falling interest rates on deposits will bring down the cost of borrowing, but only in the short term. However they remain uncertain as to whether or not they will be able to access preferential loans.

Many of those attending said that the State’s decision to raise the minimum monthly salary to 1,050,000 VND from May 1 will increase labour and production costs, putting them under even more financial pressure.-VNA