MANILA, Philippines — Filipino business executives turned more bullish in the fourth quarter of 2017 as the Philippines ranked as the fourth most optimistic country among 36 economies, according to the latest Grant Thornton International Business Report.
Optimism level among business leaders in the country hit an average of 86 percent, higher than the global average of 58 percent.
The country’s optimism level for October to December 2017 showed an improvement from the 84 percent and 80 percent recorded in the previous quarter and the same quarter in 2016, respectively.
It was based on a survey conducted among business leaders about their outlook on the country’s economy over the next 12 months.
Globally, the Philippines’ 86 percent optimism level ranked fourth highest next to Indonesia (100 percent), Finland (96 percent), and Netherlands (92 percent).
Following closely behind the Philippines, meanwhile, are India (83 percent), Ireland (80 percent), and US (79 percent).
Given their high optimism level, local businesses expect an increase in employment. They plan to improve the effectiveness of their sales force as well as develop new products or services.
“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,” P&A Grant Thornton chairperson and chief executive officer Marivic Españo said.
Revenue expectations among the business executives remained steady at 88 percent compared to the previous quarter while those who expect to be more profitable in the next 12 months soared to an all-year high of 86 percent in the fourth quarter, up from 70 percent in the previous quarter and 72 percent in the same quarter in 2016.
Grant Thornton said optimism among business leaders in Asia Pacific has surged significantly over the past year, with the high levels of confidence driven particularly by China and Japan, where optimism has risen 21 and 29 percentage points year-on-year, respectively.
“Confidence has boomed in Asia Pacific, reaching its highest peak in the history of the International Business Report. 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,” Españo said.
“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 outside the Philippines,” she added.
As published Philippine Star, published 08 January 2018