Businesses less upbeat about economy in Q3

MANILA, Philippines – Business sentiment remains positive in the 3rd quarter of 2013, but less bullish than the previous quarter due to lower demand and global uncertainties.

Results of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas' (BSP) Business Expectation Survey showed the confidence index (CI) for businesses eased to 42.8% in the 3rd quarter, compared to 54.9% – an all-time high – in the 2nd.

Respondents attributed their less buoyant sentiment to:

The confidence index is the difference between the percentage of respondents who are positive about the economy's performance as well as theirs, and the percentage of those who are pessimistic. A lower but positive CI indicates the number of optimists declined. The index is a good indicator of how the economy will perform in the short term.

Results of the survey were released a day after the government announced the Philippines' gross domestic product (GDP) data.

The Philippines grew 7.5% in the 2nd quarter, the same pace as China, making the two the fastest growing economies in the region.

Outlook turns positive in Q4

For the 4th quarter however, the business outlook becomes bullish again, hitting a new high of 60%.

"This reading suggest that growth momentum could accelerate in the last quarter," said the BSP.

Companies expect brisker business for the period because of the Christmas season.

The BSP survey was conducted from July 1 to August 13, 2013. A total of 1,552 firms were polled. Respondents were drawn from the Securities and Exchange Commission's Top 7,000 Corporations in 2010. – Rappler.com