Businesses in the Philippines emerged as the most optimistic among 36 countries in terms of profitability in the fourth quarter of 2017 with more than 8 of 10 expecting to gain profit for the year , results of the Grant Thornton’s International Business Report (IBR) shows.

The overall optimism level hit  86 percent, way above  the global average of 58 percent and up 3 percentage points from the third quarter in 2017.

The profitability is at all-year high of 86 percent, up 16 percentage points over the last quarter while r evenue expectations remain steady at 88 percent.

This is despite the Philippines’ increase in economic uncertainty from 22 percent in the third quarter to 28 percent.

The same survey shows  52 percent of Filipino business leaders are very optimistic about the outlook of the Philippine economy over the next 12 months, in comparison to 43.8 percent of Asean business leaders.

About 66 percent of Filipino business leaders see an increase in employment while 50 percent plan to improve salesforce effectiveness and 48 percent intend to develop and/or launch a new product or service.

“The results of the survey show that businesses are very confident about the economy. For one, the recent passage of the first tranche of tax reforms is expected to support public spending and investments in infrastructure and social services which, in turn, will create more opportunities for businesses,” said  Marivic Españo, chairperson and chief executive officer of P&A Grant Thornton.

In Asia-Pacific, optimism among business leaders jumped 17 percentage points over the past year to an historic high of 58 percent driven  by surges in China and Japan.

Expectations over revenue (67 percent) and profitability (47 percent) have also reached record highs for the region.

Españo said confidence has boomed in Asia Pacific, reaching its highest peak in the history of the IBR . 

While China has experienced growing levels of optimism over the past year or so, Japan’s break into positive territory is a real sign of change in the region. As global trade improves, firms in Japan and China are also thinking about the future and investing in their long-term growth.

According to Españo , this positive business sentiment in the region is an opportunity that Philippines businesses must consider as they plan for their long-term expansion and growth plans.


As published in Malaya, dated 09 January 2018