ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
PHL economic outlook less upbeat in Q3
The business community "turned less optimistic" about the third quarter of the year, results of the latest Business Expectations Survey (BES) by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed Friday.
The overall confidence index (CI) declined to 37.9 percent from 43 percent of the second quarter of 2017.
"This means that the number of optimists declined but continued to be greater than the number of pessimists during the quarter," the central bank said in an emailed statement.
The CI is computed as the percentage of firms that answered in the affirmative, minus the percentage of the firms that answered in the negative with respect to their views on a given indicator.
Respondents with "less buoyant" outlook about the third quarter cited the following reasons:
*Seasonal factors (business slowdown during the rainy season, slack in demand during the planting and closed milling season, and the closed fishing season in Davao Gulf from July to September)
*Marawi crisis and declaration of martial law in Mindanao, which affected people's mobility to and in Mindanao;
*Damage and power outages caused by the July 6, 2017 earthquake in the Visayas
"The sentiment of businesses in the Philippines mirrored the less buoyant business outlook in the US, Canada, The Netherlands, New Zealand, and Thailand but was in contrast to the more bullish views of those in Germany and Hong Kong and steady outlook in France," the BSP said.
Meanwhile, the business outlook on the economy has turned more positive for the fourth quarter as the CI rose to 51.3 percent from 42.7 percent in the previous quarter's survey results.
Respondents with "more positive" outlook had the following expectations:
*Uptick in consumer demand during the holiday, harvest and milling seasons
*Continued rollout of government infrastructure and other development projects
*Continued increase in orders and projects translating to higher volume of production
*Expansion of businesses and new product lines
*Introduction of new and enhanced business strategies and processes
*Expected favorable weather condition for agricultural products
*Positive impact of the proposed tax reform program
The third quarter survey was conducted on July 3 to August 18 with 1,480 firms surveyed nationwide. Respondents were from the Securities and Exchange Commission list of Top 7,000 corporations in 2010 and Business World's Top 1,000 corporation in 2015. — Marlly Rome Bondoc/VDS, GMA News
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