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MANILA, Philippines – Filipino consumers are more upbeat in the fourth quarter of 2015, the Bangko Sentral ng Pillipinas (BSP) reported on Friday, December 11.
The overall confidence index also hit its highest level since the third quarter of 2013, a survey conducted by the central bank showed.
BSP Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo said the results of the fourth quarter 2015 Consumer Expectations Survey (CES) showed the overall confidence index rising to -8.1% from -11.6 % in the third quarter.
While it is one of the highest ratings since 2007, “It is still negative, meaning there are more pessimists out there than optimists,” he said.
The fourth quarter result was the highest level since -7.9% in the third quarter of 2013. The highest overall confidence index was booked at -5.7% in the second quarter of that same year.
“Individuals are pessimistic. People would tend to see the problems rather than the brighter side,” Guinigundo added.
Rosabel Guerrero, director of the BSP’s Department of Economic Statistics (DES), said the number of households with an optimistic view increased but was less than those who think otherwise.
The more favorable outlook in the fourth quarter was due to expectations of more jobs and increase in the number of working family members, as well as additional income with the release of a Christmas bonus and 13th month pay, she pointed out.
Guerrero also said the respondents likewise cited stable prices of commodities, effective government policies, improvements in infrastructure, and more brisk business activity leading to higher household income.
The survey also showed consumer confidence in the country’s economic condition increased, while outlook on the family financial situation and income remained broadly steady.
For the first quarter of 2016, Guerrero said consumers’ optimism was sustained with the confidence index broadly steady at 5.7% from 5.8% in the last quarter.
“This indicates that the optimists continued to top the pessimists for the next quarter,” she added.
Guerrero said consumers’ sentiment was more favorable with the confidence index rising to 18% from 15.8% for the next 12 months in anticipation of the May 2016 presidential and national elections.
She explained consumers anticipate lower unemployment, improvements in the country’s economy, and the election of new government officials for the year ahead. (READ: PH unemployment rate drops to record low 5.7%)
The Consumer Expectations Survey was conducted from October 1 to 12 and covered 6,020 households. – Rappler.com