Businessmen upbeat on Phl economy – MBC
Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) - March 29, 2017 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Business executives in the country remain highly optimistic in their outlook on the Philippine economy despite anticipation of higher inflation and interest rates this year coupled with a critical outlook on trade, a survey conducted by the Makati Business Club (MBC) showed.

MBC’s First Semester Executive Outlook Survey for 2017, released yesterday, revealed that the bullish outlook on the economy is prompting most firms to continue pouring big investments into the country in the coming year.

A majority or 83 percent of the senior business executives polled said they expected a higher or the same level of gross domestic product growth for 2017 compared to the previous year’s 6.8 percent growth rate, while only 17 percent projected it to be lower.

On consumer prices, most of the executives or about 85 percent expect the country’s headline inflation this year to be higher than 2016’s average rate of 1.8 percent.

Meanwhile, 12 percent of the respondents expect inflation to stay at the same rate, while three percent project it to be lower than that of last year.

More than half of the businessmen or about 57 percent are also expecting a higher 91- day Treasury Bill rate this year than 2016’s 1.5 percent.?Some 39 percent still foresee constant interest rates and expect it to stay the same, while four percent expect it moving

The survey showed that majority or 47 percent of the respondents expected lower exports turnout for the year,

For imports, 64 percent see it finishing lower this year, while only 12 percent expect it to end higher than last year.

More than half of the businessmen or about 57 percent are also expecting a higher 91- day Treasury Bill rate this year lower in 2017.

On trade, the MBC said the general outlook was slightly critical, as a significant number of its members had forecast a decrease in both imports and exports.

The survey showed that majority or 47 percent of the respondents expected lower exports turnout for the year, with 29 percent seeing it exceeding last year’s level and 24 percent believing it will stay at the same level.

For imports, 64 percent see it finishing lower this year, while only 12 percent expect it to end higher than last year.

“On investments for 2017, the projection remains bright. A positive outlook remains in terms of corporate performance for 2017, with a large majority of the respondents projecting an increase in both gross revenues and net income in the coming year,” the MBC said.

About 74 percent of the firms said they would make additional investments in the coming year, with an average amount of P785 million.

MAKATI BUSINESS CLUB
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