• Businesses less optimistic in Q1 – BSP survey


    THE business outlook for the economy turned less optimistic in the first three months of the year mainly because of seasonal factors and concerns on the impact of tax reform on consumer prices, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported on Friday.

    The confidence index (CI) — computed as the percentage of firms that answered in the affirmative minus those who replied otherwise in the BSP’s latest Business Expectations Survey — moderated to 39.5 percent for the first three months of 2018, down from 43.3 percent three months earlier, but was still higher than the 39.4 percent recorded in the same period last year.

    Reasons cited were the usual slowdown in business activity and moderation of consumer demand after the holiday and harvest seasons; rising fuel prices that are largely influenced by higher international prices of crude oil and the increase in excise tax on petroleum products; and stiffer competition. MAYVELIN U. CARABALLO



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