MANILA - Two out of five adult Filipinos, or around 40 percent, are expecting the economy to worsen in the next 12 months as the COVID-19 pandemic lingers in the country, according to a recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.
The survey also showed around 24 percent of Filipinos expect the economy to stay the same, while 30 percent expect it to improve.
The 40 percent "economic pessimists" in July 2020 is the highest in over 12 years, since the 52 percent in June 2008.
Net economic optimism score for July 2020 also dropped by 47 points from "very high" +38 to "mediocre" -9.
This is also the lowest score since the "low" -19 in February 2009.
Net economic optimism, according to SWS, refers to the expectations about the general Philippine economy. This is different from net personal optimism, which refers to one's expectations in personal quality of life.
The 47-point decline in net econonomic optimism from December 2019 to July 2020 was due to decreases of 63 points in Visayas, 51 points in Mindanao, 42 points in Balance Luzon, and 40 points in Metro Manila.
Net economic optimism is also lower among college graduates at "low" -12 and junior high school graduates at "low" -11, compared to elementary graduates (mediocre -5) and non-elementary graduates (mediocre +1).
Compared to the December 2019 results, net economic optimism dropped across all educational backgrounds.
The Philippine economy shrank a record 16.5 percent in the second quarter plunging the country into recession, following one of the longest and strictest lockdowns in the world to curb the spread of COVID-19.
An independent survey also showed adult unemployment hitting a record 45.5 percent in July.
The figures were based on a non-commissioned survey on 1,555 Filipinos from July 3-6.
The survey, done through mobile phones and computer-assisted telephone interviewing, asked respondents whether they expect the economy of the Philippines to improve, remain the same or get worse in the next 12 months.
The survey had sampling error margins of ±2 percent for national percentages, ±6 percent for Metro Manila and ±5 percent each for Balance Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao.
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