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Businesses show modest boost in optimism – Dun & Bradstreet India Survey

Mumbai, November 8, 2023: The Composite Business Optimism Index by Dun & Bradstreet, a leading global provider of business decisioning data and analytics, stands at 70.3 for Q4 2023, 0.4% higher compared to Q3 2023. Two out of six optimism indices have registered an increase. The Dun & Bradstreet Composite Business Optimism Index, which has been measuring the changing business sentiment of India Inc. since 2002, is a leading indicator for India’s overall growth, with a correlation co-efficient of around 80% with the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).


  • Optimism for profitability shows a seven percent increase in Q4 2023, with 49% respondents expecting an increase in net profits.
  • Optimism for new orders grew by three percentage points as compared to the previous quarter, with 58% respondents expecting higher number of orders in Q4 2023.
  • Only 25% respondents expect an increase in inventory level in Q4 2023, lowest in 12 quarters.
  • 42% respondents expect an increase in fresh hiring of employees during Q4 2023, lowest in 9 quarters.
  • Optimism for level of selling prices remains stagnant with 31% of respondents expecting an increase in selling prices.
  • The consumer durables goods sector is the most optimistic on volume of sales, net profits and expected level of selling prices.

Dun & Bradstreet's Composite Business Optimism Index:  Q4 2003 – Q4 2023

Note: BOI Index is for new base (2011)

Arun Singh, Global Chief Economist, Dun & Bradstreet said, “The Indian economy is currently facing challenges due to global recessionary headwinds that are impacting the external sector. The Indian economy's vulnerability to oil price fluctuations and its business connections with the Middle East have exposed it to disruptions caused by events like the Israel-Hamas conflict and the geopolitical crises in the region. Despite these challenges, the upcoming festive season in India is expected to boost business sentiment for Q4 2023. While the global economic slowdown has affected consumerism, businesses anticipate higher profitability with easing inflation and increased industrial production, even though sales volumes remain relatively stagnant, and order books show modest growth.”

Key findings from the Q4 2023 survey

57% of the respondents expect volume of sales to increase in Q4 2023 compared to 62% in Q3 2023, a decrease of five percentage points. While 30% expect it to remain unchanged, 13% expect the volume of sales to decline.

49% of the respondents expect an increase in net profits in Q4 2023 compared to 42% in Q3 2023, an increase of seven percentage points. 36% expect net profits to remain unchanged, while 15% expect it to decrease.

31% of the respondents expect the selling price of their products to increase during Q4 2023, registering a decline of one percentage point compared to Q3 2023. 58% of the respondents expect no change in selling price while 11% expect a decline in Q4 2023.

58% of the respondents expect their order book position to improve in Q4 2023, compared to 55% in Q3 2023, an increase of three percentage points. While 32% of the respondents expect new orders to remain unchanged, 10% anticipate new orders to decrease.

25% of the respondents expect their inventory level to increase during Q4 2023, registering decline of ten percentage points with respect to Q3 2023. While 53% anticipate no change in inventory level, 22% expect inventory level to decline.

42% of the respondents expect an increase in the size of their workforce employed during Q4 2023 compared to 46% in Q3 2023. While 51% anticipate no change in the number of employees, 7% expect their workforce size to decline.

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