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Poll: Q3 business outlook less upbeat.

THE outlook of businesses on the economy was less sanguine in the third quarter due to the slack in demand and slowdown of business activities during the rainy season, according to the results of a survey conducted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

Results of the Business Expectations Survey (BES) conducted by the BSP indicated that overall confidence index (CI) for the third quarter fell to 37.3 percent, from 40.5 percent for the second quarter.

The BSP said respondents attributed their weaker sentiment for the period to: seasonal factors, such as slack in the demand and slowdown of business activities during the rainy season; decline in orders leading to lower sales; lack of supply of raw materials; and the perceived unfavorable effects of various government policies, such as the rice tariffication law and stiffer competition.

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

The lower but positive Cl means that the number of optimists declined but continued to be greater than the number of pessimists for the third quarter of the year.

The sentiment of businesses in the Philippines mirrored the less buoyant business outlook in Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, India and Norway.

However, business sentiment in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, France, Greece, Hungary, Israel and Ukraine was more optimistic.

The results of the BES were in contrast to the results of the Consumer Expectations Survey (CES), which showed Filipino consumers as more optimistic.

The BSP said the overall CI rebounded to positive territory at 4.6 percent for the third quarter, from -1.3 percent for the second quarter. Consumers' optimistic outlook was attributed to their expectations of the

following: improvements in the peace and order situation, availability of more jobs, additional and high income and good governance.

The BSP said the improvement in consumer confidence for the period was observed across the three component indicators of consumer confidence, namely, the country's economic condition, family financial situation and family income.

However, both firms and consumers expect better economic conditions for the fourth quarter.

The optimism of businesses was based on expectations of higher consumer demand during the holidays and harvest, continued increases in orders and projects, and more favorable macroeconomic conditions, higher government spending and business expansion.

Consumers were also more upbeat about the fourth quarter as they anticipate the availability of more jobs, additional and high income, good governance and stable prices of goods.

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Publication:Business Mirror (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Sep 20, 2019
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