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Business sentiment up in Q4

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According to the BSP, the sentiment of businesses in the Philippines reflects the more buoyant business outlook in Brazil, Chile, Hungary and the Netherlands.

Economic sentiment of various businesses in the country showed improvement for the last quarter of the year, while consumer outlook on the same soften, according to a report by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) in its latest Business (BES) and Consumer Expectations Surveys (CES).

Data from the BES showed that overall confidence index (CI) for local businesses stood 40.2 percent, a slight improvement from the posted 37.3 percent in the previous quarter.

“Respondents attributed their more optimistic sentiment for the quarter to higher consumer demand during the holiday and harvest seasons, increase in sales, orders and projects, more favorable macroeconomic conditions, higher government spending and business expansion,” the BES said.

“This was reflective of the higher increase in the percentage of optimists, which outweighed the increase in the percentage of pessimists from the previous quarter’s survey results,” it added.

According to the BSP, the sentiment of businesses in the Philippines reflects the more buoyant business outlook in Brazil, Chile, Hungary and the Netherlands. However, business confidence in Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Israel, Norway and Ukraine were less optimistic.

For the next 12 months, outlook of local businesses in the Philippine economy inched from just 58.6 percent to 59.6 percent.

Meanwhile, consumer confidence showed less optimism for the fourth quarter 2019 as the overall CI decreased to only 1.3 percent from the 4.6 percent quarter-ago.

“According to respondents, their less favorable outlook for the fourth quarter 2019 was due to the following concerns: higher prices of commodities, low or no increase in salary/income, increase in household expenses and high unemployment rate,” the CES said.

“The lower but still positive CI was reflective of the combined decline in the percentage of optimists and increase in the percentage of pessimists compared to third quarter 2019 survey results,” it added.

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