MANILA— The lowering of COVID-19 restrictions in Metro Manila to Alert Level 2 will provide struggling businesses a much-needed lifeline in time for the Christmas spending season, the Management Association of the Philippines said Friday.
Consumer spending is expected to rise during the Christmas season backed by the loosening of restrictions, MAP said in a statement.
"We very much welcome the shift to Alert Level 2, as the fourth quarter is a critical period for many businesses," MAP said.
Metro Manila is under Alert Level 2 from Nov. 5 to 21, down from Alert Level 3.
On the latest Labor Force Survey, MAP said the rise in unemployment was "expected" since many areas in the country remain in quarantine.
Some 4.25 million Filipinos were jobless in September as the unemployment rate hit 8.9 percent for the month compared to the 8.1 percent recorded in August.
Inflation, meanwhile, is expected to return within the government target of 2 to 4 percent for 2022 and 2023. The current upward inflation is transitory, MAP said, in line with the view of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
Inflation slowed in October to 4.6 percent from 4.8 percent in September but it remains above the 2 to 4 percent target range.
Continued monitoring in the movement of prices is needed and non-monetary measures to address supply side woes "should be pursued," MAP said.