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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs     December 13,  2016  

PHL consumer confidence at all-time high in Q4

The policies in place under the Duterte administration helped buoy consumer confidence to an all-time high in the fourth quarter of 2016, according to the central bank.

The consumer Confidence Index (CI) rose to 9.2 percent in October to December from 2.5 percent in July to September, results of the latest Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Consumer Expectations Survey (CES) showed.

"This is the second consecutive quarter that the CI registered a positive reading," BSP Deputy Director for Economic Statistics Teresita Deveza told reporters in a press conference on Friday.

A positive CI indicates that the number of households with optimistic views increased and outnumbered the pessimists. The central bank computes the index as the percentage of households that answered in the affirmative, minus the percentage of those that answered in the negative with respect to their views on the specified indicators.

Respondents attributed their optimism toward the following factors:

    *Peace and order

    *End to Job contractualization

    *No-window-hour policy in the number coding scheme

    *Salary increase

    *Employment opportunities

Respondents also cited the following factors:

    *Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program

    *New administration/President

    *Less corruption

    *Anti-drug campaign

    *Better government service

"The last quarter is usually optimistic because of the remittances during the Christmas season and the end of the harvest season. So, marami silang pera pambili," said BSP Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo.

"Consumers believe the economy continues to be bright and family income is expected to improve," Guinigundo added.

The survey measures consumer confidence across three components:

    *The economy

    *Family income

    *Family financial situation

However, consumers are less optimistic about the next quarter – with a CI of 18.8 percent – and the year ahead at 33.4 percent, compared with 27.3 percent and 43.8 percent previously, the central bank noted, using a different set of numbers.

The less upbeat outlook for the next quarter and the year ahead was due to perceptions that point to higher prices of goods, lower income, unstable stock market, fewer investors in the country and issues surrounding extrajudicial killings (EJKs).

"Normally, nagkakaroon ng konting decline in the next three months after the holiday euphoria," Guinigundo said.

The central bank official noted the respondents were not asked about extrajudicial killings.

"The answer came from the respondents. We asked them open-ended questions," Guinigundo noted.

The fourth quarter CES was conducted from October 3 to 14. The quarterly survey covered a sample size of 6,036 households in Metro Manila and areas outside the National Capital Region.

Of the sample size, 5,836 households responded to the survey, equivalent to a response rate of 96.7 percent.--— VS, GMA News

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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