MBC bullish on economy | Inquirer Business

MBC bullish on economy

Members highly optimistic GDP will surpass or sustain last year’s 6.8% growth
/ 12:42 AM March 29, 2017

The Makati Business Club (MBC) is bullish about the local economy this year as its members expressed a general sense of bullishness in the group’s first-semester executive outlook survey for 2017.

MBC said that its members were highly optimistic that the local economy would either surpass or sustain last year’s 6.8-percent GDP growth, withstanding anticipations of an increase in inflation and interest rates this year amid a critical outlook on trade.

This was based on the survey that received responses from 76 of its 380 corporate members, representing about 20 percent. MBC said that majority of these responses were received from senior executives and top management representatives. The survey was done from Feb. 2 to March 15.


Eighty-three percent of senior business executives polled expected a higher or same level of GDP growth for 2017 compared to last year. The remaining 17 percent of the respondents projected a lower economic growth rate.


In terms of consumer prices, 85 percent said that they expected the country’s headline inflation in 2017 to be higher than last year’s average rate of 1.8 percent; 12 percent said it would just stay the same, while 3 percent anticipated a lower rate.

Fifty-seven percent of the respondents said that they anticipated a higher 91-day treasury bill rate than last year’s 1.5 percent; 39 percent still expected constant interest rates while 4 percent said it would move lower this year.

Eighty percent said that they expected the peso to depreciate against the dollar by an average of 5.16 percent by the end of this year; 11 percent said the foreign exchange rate would stay the same as the end-2016 rate of P49.82 to a dollar; while 9 percent said that the peso would appreciate against the greenback by 3 percent

In terms of investment pledges, nearly half of respondents or 47 percent expected approved investments to be lower than the P89.4 billion reported by the Philippine Statistics Authority last year; 29 percent said that there would be an increase from 2016 while 24 percent expected it to be just the same level this year.

MBC said that its members had a slightly critical general outlook on trade following a significant number of members saw imports and exports to fall.

Forty-seven percent said that they expected lower exports in the period comparable to January to November last year, which had around $51.36 billion. Twenty-nine percent only expected an increase while 24 percent saw flat growth.


On the other hand, imports also saw lower expectations, with 64 percent of respondents saying that imports would be lower than last year’s $73.72 billion; 24 percent said it would retain the same level this year while 12 percent said it would go higher.

MBC members expected a positive performance for their companies this year, with a majority saying that their gross revenues and net income would be higher.

Eighty-three percent said that their gross revenues would go up this year while 10 percent expected no increase and only 7 percent expected a lower turnout.

In terms of net income, 74 percent had higher projections for this year while 14 percent saw the same level and only 12 percent expected lower net incomes this year.

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Seventy-four percent also said that they would make additional investments in the coming year averaging around P785 million. MBC said the highest projected investments of more than P1 billion were under the diversified or conglomerate and services sector.
Fifty-one percent shared plans to expand their workforce, with majority of these member companies planning to hire more workers in the services sector; 48 percent expected the same size of workforce and only 1 percent said they might lay off some workers.


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