Philippine Firms Most Confident Since 2019, Consumers Are Bleak
(Bloomberg) -- Philippine companies’ confidence in the economy returned to its pre-pandemic level this quarter, while households became more pessimistic, according to central bank surveys released Friday.
The business confidence index rose to 39.7% in the fourth quarter, a jump from the -5.6% reading in the previous three months and the highest since at least the last quarter of 2019 when it was at 40.2%. Meanwhile, the consumer confidence index fell to -24% this quarter from -19.3% in July to September.
Easing mobility curbs, as vaccination ramps up and Covid-19 cases decline, led to an improvement in businesses’ confidence, the central bank said, with an expected rise in demand during the Christmas season also giving it a boost.
Yet, households were more pessimistic amid high unemployment, low income and fast inflation, it said.
The Philippines has begun seeing more evident green shoots of recovery after being among Asia’s hardest-hit by coronavirus outbreaks. The government raised its growth outlook for the year and sees faster expansion in 2022.
The surveys were done from Oct. 8 to Nov. 18 for firms, and from Oct. 1 to 13 for consumers. The capital region was under strict virus curbs in October.
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