Inflation
A vendor hands over chopped meat to a customer at Nepa Q Mart market in Kamuning, Quezon City on Tuesday, July 3, 2018. Businesses turned less upbeat in the third quarter on anaemic demand, lower sales and tighter competition, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said Thursday.
The STAR/Michael Varcas
Businesses less upbeat, consumer confidence up in Q3 — BSP
Ian Nicolas Cigaral (Philstar.com) - September 19, 2019 - 6:25pm

MANILA, Philippines — Businesses turned less upbeat in the third quarter on anaemic demand, lower sales and tighter competition, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said Thursday.

Meanwhile, consumer confidence recovered in the July-September period on expectations of higher income and improvement in job availability, the BSP also said.

In a statement, the central bank said results of its July 10 to September 10 poll of 1,487 companies showed overall business confidence dipped to 37.3% in the third quarter from 40.5% in the preceding three months.

“The lower but positive [confidence index] means that the number of optimists declined but continued to be greater than the number of pessimists for Q3 2019,” the BSP explained.

Firms surveyed by the central bank attributed their weaker sentiment on “seasonal factors” such as slack in demand and lackluster business activity during the rainy season.

Respondents also cited lower orders, lack of raw supply and “perceived unfavorable effects” of state policies such as the EDSA bus ban and rice tariffication as reasons for their gloomy outlook.

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

“However, business sentiments in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, France, Greece, Hungary, Israel and Ukraine were more optimistic,” it added.

For the fourth quarter, the central bank said companies are more bullish amid expectations of stronger demand during the holiday and harvest seasons, as well as more favorable macroeconomic conditions and business expansion prospects.

Optimistic consumers

In a separate statement, the BSP said its July survey of 5,676 households found that consumer confidence rebounded to 4.6% in the third quarter from -1.3% previously.

This means the optimists outnumbered the pessimists in the July-September period, the central bank said.

“Respondents’ optimistic outlook during Q3 2019 was attributed to their expectations of the following: (a) improvements in the peace and order situation, (b) availability of more jobs, (c) additional and high income, and (d) good governance,” the BSP reported.

According to the central bank, consumer confidence was more upbeat for the last quarter of the year and the next 12 months fueled by Filipino families’ anticipation for more jobs, additional income, good governance and stable prices of goods.

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