Holiday season brings out cheerful economic outlook
MANILA, Philippines–The country’s entrepreneurs and consumers are upbeat about their prospects in the fourth quarter of 2019, thanks to the expected seasonal uptick in business and economic activity during the holiday season, according to two surveys released on Thursday, Sept. 19, by the central bank.
In a press release, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said importers and domestic companies had a “more buoyant” outlook, expecting “higher domestic demand” and stronger remittance by OFWs.
The same survey, though, said exporters and so-called dual-activity firms are being weighed down by expected lower demand for industrial products, like electronics and semiconductors.
An examination per sector showed the outlook on business activity volume was mixed—bullish for wholesale and retail but less upbeat on construction.
The employment picture would still be pretty in the fourth quarter although lower—19.6 percent compared to 26 percent in a previous survey.
“This suggests that more firms will continue to hire new employees, although the number that said so are lower compared to the previous survey result,” the central bank said.
The number of businesses planning to expand was lower—30.4 percent—from the previous survey result—33.5 percent, the BSP said.
These results were echoed by the positive outlook of consumers for the same period.
For the fourth quarter of 2019, consumer confidence was more upbeat as the confidence index — the percentage of respondents who replied positively, less those who replied negatively — rose to 15.8 percent from the previous survey result of 9.7 percent.
The central bank’s Business Expectations Survey was conducted from July 10 to Sept. 10, 2019, among 1,487 firms nationwide. The Consumer Expectations Survey, meanwhile, was conducted during the entire month of July 2019 among 5,676 households nationwide drawn from the Philippine Statistics Authority Master Sample List of Households. /TSB
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