Friday, 26 February 2010

Business optimism highest in 2 years

Jun Vallecera
Business Mirror
http://www.businessmirror.com.ph/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=22338:business-optimism-highest-in-2-years-&catid=23:topnews&Itemid=58

BUSINESS optimism was at its highest in two years, the confidence index having averaged 39.1 percent under the latest survey conducted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

This was the third quarter in a series when the index turned positive, and comes in the wake of four consecutive quarters when this index stood in negative territory, BSP Assistant Governor Maria Cyd Tuaño-Amador said on Thursday.

The optimism highlights the sector’s view the economy was poised for a rebound this year from a relatively low growth path last year, Amador said.

This optimism should also be sustained in the second quarter where the index stood at 52.6 percent, the second-highest level in two years.

“Moderate inflation, the steady stream of overseas Filipino remittances and election-related spending are some of the factors that buoyed respondents’ expectations of higher spending that will spur business activity. “Furthermore, firms expected that continued foreign investment inflows will help provide funds for economic expansion. This favorable business outlook mirrors the improving business confidence in countries such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, Europe and the United States,” Amador said.  With the buoyant outlook sustained in the second quarter, businessmen also have reason to believe foreign investments will continue to pour in the upcoming quarter.

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