Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Biz outlook at 14-yr high

MV de Leon
Business Mirror
http://www.businessmirror.com.ph/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=23771:biz-outlook-at-14-yr-high&catid=23:topnews&Itemid=58

WITH the upcoming elections bringing hopes for a “fresh wind of change,” optimism of the country’s top businesses in the economy soared to a 14-year high, according to the latest Executive Outlook Survey of the Makati Business Club (MBC).

In the survey conducted last month, 89 percent of the respondents, who all belong to the MBC, believe that economic growth will be better this year compared with the 0.9-percent gross domestic product (GDP) expansion recorded in 2009

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“This percentage of optimistic respondents is the highest in 14 years, surpassed only in July 1996 when 93.9 percent of respondents believed economic growth would be higher than the previous year,” the MBC said in a statement.

Alberto Lim, MBC executive director, said that besides the base effect considering last year’s 11-year low GDP growth, businesses are also anticipating a “fresh wind of change” with the May elections.

However, Lim said this optimism could easily be erased if businesses are not satisfied with the outcome of the elections.

“The assumption is there will be change, so the underlying reason for the confidence [lies in] the changes that will be brought by the elections. If the result of the election is not good, then that confidence will change. At least right now, there is hope because there is opportunity for change unlike last year,” Lim told the BusinessMirror.

In the 2009 survey, only 2 percent expected the 2009 economic performance to surpass the 2008 GDP growth rate.

This year, majority of respondents foresee a more favorable trend in 2010 for most of the other major economic indicators.

These include a stable peso (36.5 percent), higher levels of investments (66.2 percent), exports (74.3 percent), and imports (73.0 percent). M.V. de Leon

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