PH improves to 2nd place in global business optimism survey

By Ted P. Torres, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jul 17 2012 08:17 AM | Updated as of Jul 18 2012 03:02 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines improved on its ranking in a global survey on business optimism in the second quarter of the year.

Based on the latest Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR), the Philippines improved to second spot from the previous fourth in the first quarter.

IBR is a survey of both listed and privately-held businesses. The responses were drawn from interviews with 3,000 businesses from all industry sectors across the globe conducted in May and June 2012. The respondents were chief executive officers, managing directors, chairmen or other senior executives.

In the recent survey, the Philippines registered an average 90 percent, behind Peru’s 96 percent, and at par with Chile.

In the first quarter, Peru still led the pack with re a 90-percent level, followed by Brazil with 86 percent, the United Arab Emirates with 84 percent, and the Philippines.

“Optimism among local business leaders improved in the second quarter of the year, even as the global mood also showed signs of a slight uptick,” the IBR said.

Punongbayan & Araullo (P&A), one of the leading audit, tax and advisory services firm in the Philippines, released the IBR study.

The IBR said that the Philippines’ eight-point bump in optimism from the previous quarter comes despite tepid expectations for key economic indicators, such as profitability and revenue.

For the second quarter, 40 percent of local respondents expect increased profitability, the same as last quarter.

The report, however, said that in terms of expectations for revenue improvement, the balance of those surveyed dropped from last quarter’s 48 percent to 44 percent. But the proportion of businesses expecting to hike prices jumped to 30 percent from last quarter’s 14 percent.

P&A chairman and chief executive officer Marivic Españo said that the drop in revenue expectations could be due to businesses expecting a reduction in sales volumes as a result of price increases.

“Costs attendant to doing business, such as oil prices for example, which were on the high end at the start of the second quarter, are normally passed on to consumers, so business leaders are naturally looking at a drop in volume sales,” Españo said in a press statement.