28% of firms in Philippines seen expanding in 3rd quarter

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Firms in the Philippines are seen expanding their businesses in the third quarter of the current year, despite challenges such as competition and weak demand in the previous quarter, according to the results of the Second Quarter Business Expectations Survey (BES) of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

The latest BES showed that the percentage of businesses with expansion plans for the next quarter remained broadly steady at 28.7 percent.

“In line with the favorable business sentiment for the next quarter, firms in the industry sector continued to have a favorable outlook on the economy,” it said.

Across subsectors, mining and quarrying recorded the most robust expansion plans, followed by electricity, gas and water, agriculture and manufacturing subsectors.

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The survey also noted that constraints to businesses have been declining, indicating an improving business condition in the country.

It showed that 11.8 percent of businesses—the second highest since the survey started—indicated that they did not encounter constraints to their operations.

Meanwhile, the BES also said that the average capacity utilization for the current quarter slightly increased to 74 percent compared to the 73 percent registered last quarter.

In terms of employment, the BSP survey said that the employment outlook index for the next quarter increased to 24.1 percent from 23 percent last quarter.

By sector, firms in the services sector were the most optimistic in their employment outlook in the third quarter 2013, it noted.

“The employment outlook of firms in the industry and construction sector was likewise upbeat, while that of the wholesale and retail trade declined slightly compared to that of the previous quarter,” it stated.

The BES was conducted on April 1 to May 10, 2013, with 1,554 firms surveyed nationwide. It covered 17 regions nationwide. Respondents were comprised of 607 companies from Metro Manila and 947 firms outside the metropolis.

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