Photo from UNIAN The index of business expectations by Ukrainian enterprises&#39; top executives grew to 119.7% in the first quarter of 2019 (Q1) from 117.3% in the fourth quarter of 2018. That is according to a survey conducted by the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) among managers of 703 enterprises in 22 Ukrainian regions from February 4 to March 6. The majority, or 59% of respondents, predict a rise in consumer prices in Ukraine within the next 12 months to no more than 10%, while the effect of the exchange rate factor has been weakening for the second quarter in a row, the regulator said in the survey, published on its website. Some 42% of respondents expect that the hryvnia rate in the next 12 months will not exceed UAH 29 per the U.S. dollar, while the average exchange rate is expected at UAH 29.32 per dollar. Read alsoS&P predicts Ukraine&#39;s hryvnia will weaken UAH 28.6 per U.S. dollar by year-end Respondents from all types of businesses, except for those from energy and water supply sectors, expect improvements in financial status, with the highest expectations shown at construction and agricultural enterprises. Some 73.5% of top managers polled expect an increase in wages of hired workers, while the growth in the number of employees is expected in construction, trade, mining and processing industries. Most business executives traditionally name high rates on loans the major obstacle for attracting new loans (67% of respondents). UNIAN memo. The National Bank of Ukraine quarterly conducts a survey on the business expectations among CEOs of companies represented by the main business types and lines, their size, and number of employees across Ukraine, except for temporarily occupied areas in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, the city of Sevastopol, and certain areas in Donetsk and Luhansk regions.