SWS: Optimism on economy lowest since pandemic

Janvic Mateo - The Philippine Star
SWS: Optimism on economy lowest since pandemic
Photos show an aerial shot of Quezon City on February 10, 2024.
Michael Varcas / The Philippine STAR

MANILA, Philippines — The number of Filipinos who expect the economy to improve within the year has dropped to its lowest since the height of the pandemic, the 2023 fourth quarter survey conducted by Social Weather Stations (SWS) showed.

From as high as 56 percent after President Marcos was elected in 2022, optimism about the Philippine economy dropped to 40 percent in December 2023, SWS survey results released on Wednesday night showed.

It went down six points from the 46 percent obtained in a similar survey in September 2023.

Economic optimism in the fourth quarter was the lowest since the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, when it dropped to 30 percent in July 2020 and 33 percent in September 2020.

It rebounded in the following surveys and even reached 56 percent in June 2022, a month after Marcos was elected, only to drop again in recent polls.

Meanwhile, those who expect the economy to worsen remained at 10 percent, while 44 percent said it will stay the same. The remaining five percent did not give an answer.

The latest survey resulted in a “net economic optimism” score of +30, classified as “very high” by the polling firm. It was obtained by subtracting those who said that it will worsen from those who said that it will improve in the next 12 months.

The latest “net economic optimism” was down five points from the “very high” +35 obtained in September.

Across areas, optimism was highest among those in Metro Manila at +36 (from +16), followed by those in Mindanao at +32 (from +41), rest of Luzon at +30 (from +46) and Visayas at +25 (from +15)

“Net economic optimism” was highest among college graduates at +35 (from +26), followed by high school graduates at +34 (similar to last survey), elementary graduates at +24 (from +42) and non-elementary graduates at +22 (from +31).

The SWS fourth quarter survey was conducted using face-to-face interviews of 1,200 respondents and has a margin of error of plus/minus 2.8 percent for national percentages.

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