Business sentiment for the fourth quarter improved due to prospects of an investment rating for the Philippines in the near term, the economy’s favorable growth performance, and expectation that household spending will remain strong.
The business confidence index for the fourth quarter stood at 49.5 percent, better than the 38.7 percent reported in the same period last year, and the 42.5 percent seen in the third quarter of 2012.
It was the second-highest figure on record.
According to results of the latest Business Expectation Survey of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the respondent firms feel better off about the economy this quarter.
“Sentiment of businesses in the country significantly improved, and the reasons cited by firms included seasonal factors, favorable macroeconomic conditions, expectation of a positive credit-rating action, and confidence in the [Aquino] administration,” said Ma. Cyd Tuaño-Amador, BSP assistant governor.
Amador said in a briefing Thursday that most companies are confident that they will be able to increase their profits in the last quarter of the year due to the usual rise in consumer spending during the holidays.
Rosabel Guerrero of the BSP’s economic statistics department said that most companies now are upbeat because of the favorable credit rating actions enjoyed by the Philippines recently.
Officials said an investment grade would help the country corner more foreign direct investments, generate more jobs, improve incomes, and boost consumer spending and corporate profits.