Friday, 8 January 2010

RP businessmen 6th most optimistic: poll

Max de Leon
Business Mirror

THE Philippine private sector emerged as the sixth most optimistic globally as the country registered an optimism balance of 68 percent, up from 65 percent in last year’s survey of accountancy and consultancy firm Grant Thornton International.

The rise in optimism among the Philippines’ privately held businesses put the country just behind Chile (85 percent), India (84 percent), Australia (79 percent), Vietnam (72 percent) and Brazil (71 percent) in the 2010 International Business Report (IBR) optimism-pessimism index.

“It’s a small uptick, true, but we’re confident that this signals the start of a more upbeat business community,” Marivic Españo, managing partner and chief executive officer of Grant Thornton’s local partner, Punongbayan & Araullo (P&A), said.

Optimism balance refers to the difference between the percentage of respondents who indicated they are optimistic of their prospects for the next 12 months, and the percentage of those who are pessimistic.

Optimism among businesses also rose globally, with the balance shifting to positive 24 percent this year from negative 16 percent last year.

The IBR also asked respondents when they expect to see an upturn in the global economy.

Among local business leaders, 37 percent anticipate a global recovery in the second half of 2010, and 17 percent say the recovery has already taken place. Another 21 percent said they do not expect a worldwide turnaround until 2011.

Españo said business leaders are cautious about their optimism, although they are seeing signs that the country is pulling out of the financial crisis.

Consumer spending, he noted, is rebounding, partly due to strong remittances. The mining sector also expects to bounce back this year just like the semiconductor industry, that was hit hard by the recession.

“We may not be completely out of the woods yet, but the atmosphere is hopeful, and we need that attitude in order to realize a complete recovery,” Españo said.

The 2010 IBR reflected the opinions of 7,400 privately held medium to large-scale businesses from 36 economies.

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