Business execs bullish on PH
About half of senior executives at the Makati Business Club expect the Philippine economy to grow faster this year than previously, and four in every five of them see better topline figures, the MBC’s 2016 first-semester outlook survey showed.
The group said in a statement that, during this election year, its members see growth surpassing the 5.8 percent recorded in 2015.
Conducted from Feb. 2 to March 16, the survey covered 71 respondents that represent about 18 percent of MBC’s 400 member companies.
Results show that the members’ outlook on trade was “fairly optimistic,” with 62 percent expecting higher imports than last year’s.
The Philippine Statistics Authority earlier reported that January-September imports billed at $62.6 billion while exports racked up $54 billion in receipts.
Similarly, 54 percent of MBC members are projecting an increase in the value of approved investments this year. Latest government data—also covering the nine months ending September—peg the value at P106.6 billion.
Just over half (51 percent) of respondents expect inflation this year to be higher than last year’s average of 1.4 percent. The same percentage foresee lower interest rates which for the benchmark 91-day Treasury bill was logged at 1.77 percent in 2015.
A majority also expects the peso—which traded at P47.16 to the US dollar at the end of 2015—to weaken this year by an average of 3.75 percent.
“A positive outlook is also seen in terms of corporate performance for 2016, as majority of respondents project an increase in both gross revenues and net income in the coming year,” the MBC said.
Among those polled, 82 percent expect their gross revenues to increase, and 74 percent project higher net incomes in 2016.
Three in every five or 59 percent said they will make additional investments in the coming year, with an average of P4.9 billion, mainly among the conglomerates and services players.
About half, or 49 percent of the respondents plan on expanding their workforce, majority of whom are in the services sector.
When asked to list what the next administration’s top three priorities should be, the most frequently mentioned were infrastructure (58 percent), corruption (41 percent), and peace and order (32 percent).
“Other notable issues identified include the following, in no particular order, were poverty, job generation, agriculture, and education, among others,” the MBC said.
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