Businesses are more optimistic about the growth prospects now than two years ago.

This was revealed by a survey on business trends in 2014, conducted by the General Statistics Office from January 1to April 30, 2014.

According to the survey, though many difficulties remain, most of the 8,100 surveyed firms are more optimistic about the recovery and development prospects this year.

As many as 71.6 percent of the firms, including State-owned firms, private firms and foreign direct investment (FDI) firms, expected their turnover to increase by roughly 70 percent this year as compared to last year.

Another 14.7 percent forecast that their turnover would remain unchanged this year, while 13.7 percent were concerned about declining turnover.

Also, 75.1 percent believed their pre-tax profits this year will be higher than last year, 5.8 percent expected it to remain unchanged and 19.1 percent forecast a decrease of profits this year.

As for exports, 34.1 percent expected their export value to rise this year. The number of firms which believed that their export turnover this year would remain unchanged from last year was 60.6 percent. Only 5.3 percent anticipated their export turnover to be less this year over last year.

However, only 34.8 percent were optimistic about the domestic market this year, while 16.2 percent were concerned that the local market would be worse than last year.

According to the survey, 49.5 percent of the firms were borrowing loans for production and business activities as of March 2014, and 63.3 percent of them got the loans from State-owned commercial banks.

Firms in the industrial and construction sectors topped the list of the borrowers with a rate of 60 percent, followed by firms in the service sector with 43 percent. The agriculture, forestry and fishery sectors accounted for only 33.7 percent.

Most firms that did not receive bank loans noted that they did not need to take loans frequently. Complicated lending procedures, high interest rates, the ability to borrow from other sources, and being able to meet lenders' requirements were all obstacles preventing firms from gaining access to bank loans.-VNA