MANILA, Philippines — Filipinos are confident that their lives will improve as they look forward to a better economy this year, according to the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.
The First Quarter 2013 Social Weather Report, first released in the BusinessWorld, showed that 39 percent of Filipinos expected their lives to improve this year, while only 6 percent expected otherwise, resulting in a “very high” net personal optimism of plus 32 (correctly rounded), three points up from December’s “high” net personal optimism of plus 29.
The survey, conducted from March 19 to 22, also showed that 35 percent of Filipinos expected that the economy “will be better” while 11 percent expected it “will be worse,” for a “very high” net economic optimism of plus 23 (correctly rounded), four points up from the previous quarter’s also “very high” plus 19.
The survey, which used face-to-face interviews with 1,800 Filipino adults nationwide, had an error margin of plus-or-minus two percentage points.
Net optimism is the difference between the percentage of optimists and pessimists. Net personal optimism scores of plus 30 and above are considered by SWS to be “very high”; plus 20 to plus 29, “high”; plus 10 to plus 19, “fair”; plus 1 to plus 9, “mediocre”; minus 9 to zero, “low”; and minus 10 and below, “very low.”
Net economic optimism scores of plus 10 and above are considered “very high”; plus 1 to plus 9, “high”; minus 9 to zero, “fair”; minus 19 to minus 10, “mediocre”; minus 29 to minus 20, “low”; and minus 30 and below, “very low.”
The report also showed 24 percent of Filipinos saying their lives had improved over the last 12 months (gainers) compared to the 27 percent who said it had worsened (losers), for a net gainers score of minus 3 (gainers minus losers). The figure is up from the previous quarter’s net gainers score of minus 8.
Among socio-economic classes, net personal optimism declined among class ABC, from a “very high” plus 40 in December to a “high” plus 28 in March. It, however, rose among class D, from plus 30 in the previous quarter to plus 35 in March, both classified as “very high.” It remained at a “high” plus 24 among class E.
Among geographical areas, net personal optimism was “very high” in both Metro Manila and Balance of Luzon (both at plus 38), and “high” in Mindanao (plus 26) and the Visayas (plus 23).
Net economic optimism fell among class ABC from plus 28 in December to plus 21 in March. It rose among class D (from plus 19 to plus 24) and class E (from plus 16 to plus 20).
Net economic optimism also declined in Metro Manila (from plus 21 in December to plus 16 in March), but improved in Mindanao (from plus 9 to plus 26) and the Visayas (from plus 11 to plus 16). It remained statistically unchanged in Luzon outside Manila (from plus 26 to plus 27).
On the other hand, the net gainers score worsened in Metro Manila (from minus 7 to minus 10), but improved in Luzon outside Metro Manila (from 0 to plus 3) and Mindanao (from minus 18 to minus 2). It stayed statistically unchanged in the Visayas (from minus 13 to minus 12).
Across socio-economic classes, the net gainers score slipped among class ABC (from plus 29 to minus 2), and improved among class D (from minus 7 to minus 2) and class E (from minus 17 to minus 6).