Filipino businesses now more optimistic--report
RP traders among most upbeat in the world
By Abigail L. Ho
WITH the world economy now starting to recover, local businesses have become even more optimistic about future prospects, with privately held businesses (PHBs) giving an overall optimism rating of 68 percent—up from last year’s 65 percent.
According to Grant Thornton’s International Business Report, released through local member-firm Punongbayan & Araullo, Philippine businesses were among the most optimistic in the world, placing sixth in the global optimism rankings.
“It’s a small uptick, true, but we’re confident that this signals the start of a more upbeat business community,” P&A managing partner and chief executive Marivic Españo said in a statement.
Overall, the IBR global optimism/pessimism index for 2010 showed an optimism balance of 24 percent—a huge improvement from the -16 percent registered in the same period last year.
Optimism balance refers to the percentage balance of respondents who are optimistic less those who are pessimistic.
For this year’s index, Chilean businesses expressed the most optimism, with a rating of 85 percent, followed by India with 84 percent, and Australia with 79 percent.
On the flipside, Japan showed the most pessimism, with an optimism rating of -72 percent.
Also remaining pessimistic about the global economy were Spain with -56 percent, Ireland with -42 percent, and Greece with 23 percent.
Asked when they believed the global economy would register an upturn, 37 percent of local business leaders said this would happen within the second half, while 17 percent said the recovery had already started.
Twenty-one percent, however, said they did not expect an economic rebound until next year.
“Business leaders are cautious about their optimism, but they are seeing the signs that we’re pulling out of the financial crisis. Consumer spending is rebounding, thanks partly to strong remittances. The mining sector expects to bounce back this year, and even the semiconductor industry, which was hard hit by the US recession, seems poised to post double-digit growths this year,” Españo said.
“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.”
(As published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, 8 January 2010. Articles about this particular IBR result have also appeared in Malaya, BusinessWorld, Manila Standard Today and BusinessMirror on 7 January 2010; and the Philippine Star on 8 January 2010.)