Consumers upbeat on Q4 outlook; firms less so, BSP surveys say | Inquirer Business

Consumers upbeat on Q4 outlook; firms less so, BSP surveys say

/ 02:14 AM September 24, 2022

Companies have turned slightly less optimistic about their business prospects in the fourth quarter of 2022 compared to the next 12 months as they expect tighter access to financing and credit.

On the other hand, consumers were a bit more upbeat about the next three months as households expect more available jobs, additional income, and provision of pension and financial assistance.

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These are from the findings of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) latest quarterly surveys on business sentiment and consumer expectations.

Random samples

The Business Expectations Survey covered 1,504 firms drawn at random from the list of Top 7,000 Corporations ranked based on total assets in 2016 from the Bureau van Dijk database. It was conducted from July 6 to Aug. 15 and three out of five gave answers.

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Meanwhile, the Consumer Expectations Survey (CES) covered a random sample of about 5,546 households across the Philippines. It was done on July 1 to July 13 and 98 percent answered.

According to the BSP, lower confidence index (CI) numbers resulted from the combined effects of a decrease in the percentage of optimists and an increase in the percentage of pessimists.

The CI is computed as the percentage of respondents that answered in the affirmative less the percentage of households that answered in the negative with respect to their views on a given indicator.

With the survey period coinciding with the start of the third quarter, there were more optimistic than pessimistic businesses with a difference of 26.1 percent.

On the other hand, there were more consumers that were more downbeat than upbeat; pessimist households outnumbered the optimists with an index of -12.9 percent.

Business confidence

But looking further ahead, the overall business CI slid down to 43.9 percent relating to the fourth quarter, from 46.4 percent in the previous quarterly survey.

At the same time, consumer sentiment was more optimistic at 13.4 percent compared to 11.2 percent in the previous survey.

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“The improvement in confidence among consumers is attributed to their expectations of more available jobs; additional income; good governance; effective government policies and programs by the new administration for agriculture, education, and economic recovery from COVID-19; and the provision of pension and financial assistance,” the BSP said.

Among businesses, the CI for the next 12 months decreased to 57.7 percent compared to the 59.9-percent outlook in the previous survey.

On the other hand, the consumer CI for the next 12 months rose to 33.4 percent from 32.4 percent.

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