MANILA - Businesses are more confident in the economy for the first quarter, second quarter and the next 12 months, according to the survey released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas on Thursday.
The more upbeat outlook in Q1 was attributed to higher consumer demand, full reopening of the economy and return to pre-pandemic normalcy, increased business activities and expansion of businesses and opportunities in healthcare, manufacturing and construction, the BSP data showed.
For Q1, Q3 and the next 12 months, businesses expect the peso to appreciate against the dollar and that the peso and borrowing rates to rise.
Respondents in industry, construction, services, and wholesale and retail trade are all more optimistic. Traders were also generally more upbeat, save for exporters who were less optimistic. The BSP's Department of Economic Statistics attributed this to poor weather conditions which affected certain mining operations.
Although firms expect inflation to remain above the government’s 2 to 4 target range, it is also seen to ease in the near term, the BSP survey said.
Businesses expect inflation in Q1, Q2 and the next 12 months to average 7 percent, 6.9 percent and 6.6 percent respectively.
Inflation in February slightly eased to 8.6 percent from 8.7 percent the previous month.
The survey however showed businesses still generally expect access to credit to remain tight, with interest rates and borrowing costs possibly going up further.
- With a report from Warren de Guzman, ABS-CBN News