MANILA, Philippines - Business confidence dipped slightly in the first quarter of 2013, according to a survey by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
Results of the BSP's latest Business Expectations Survey showed the confidence index stood at 41.5% in the first quarter of the year. This was lower than 49.5% confidence index recorded in fourth quarter of 2012.
The less-than-upbeat outlook was attributed to the typical slowdown in business activity after Christmas and the main rice harvest season, as well as strong competition.
The adverse effects of "Typhoon Pablo" on crop production and other businesses ni Mindanao also affected business confidence.
Sentiment of businesses in the Philippines mirrored the outlook in the United Kingdom, Singapore and Hong Kong. Businesses in South Korea, India and Germany had a more positive outlook.
However, for the second quarter of 2013, businesses had a more positive outlook with the CI rising to 56.4%.
Businesses were more optimistic since they expect more business activity from election spending, as well as higher demand during harvest season, graduation and summer seasons.
"Businesses were also of the view that the country's strong macroeconmic fundamentals (such as stable prices and exchange rate), good governance and expectations of an investment grade credit rating for the Philippines augur well for their operations," the BSP said.
The latest survey was conducted from January 1 to February 8. A total of 1,555 firms were surveyed nationwide, with a response rate of 80.2%.