Business morale is quite buoyant as consumer sentiment hits all-time high in the second quarter of the year, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said in a briefing on Friday.
The central bank said that the latest Consumer Expectation Survey (CES), showed that consumer sentiment was quite upbeat as the overall consumer confidence index (CCI) climbed to -5.7 percent.
BSP Assistant Governor Ma. Cyd Tuaño-Amador said that although consumer sentiment remained at negative territory, the second-quarter figure was the most bullish since the survey started.
The latest CCI improved from the -11.2 percent in the first quarter of 2013.
“The negative confidence index indicates that pessimists still outnumber the optimists, but the margin declined to its lowest ever,” the BSP official added.
Moreover, the survey said that respondents attributed their favorable outlook to expectations of better job opportunities; increase investment inflows that would support job creation; and salary increases.
It added that consumers also cited the country’s strong macroeconomic fundamentals.
The country’s investment grade rating from Fitch Ratings was also attributed to the bullish consumer outlook.
“The very strong consumer confidence reading in the second quarter should provides optimism that the economy continue to move along the broadly, solid growth path,” Amador said.
“For the next quarter and the year ahead, consumer sentiment continued to be optimistic as the CIs remained positive,” the Bangko Sental ng Pilipinas said.
Moreover, the survey said that consumer’s views on the Rees indicators of confidence also improved in the second quarter of the year. Consumer perceptions in the economic condition of the country stood at -4.4 percent; family financial situation was at -9.6 percent; and family income posted -3 percent.
“Consumer outlook on the county’s economic condition was broadly steady for the next quarter but more buoyant in the year ahead as respondents expected to benefit from sustained investments in infrastructure and social services, as well as from policy pronouncements of recently elected national and local government officials on employment generation,” it stated.
The CES is a nationwide survey started in 2007. For the second quarter of 2013, the survey was conducted from April 3 to April 15 with a total sample size of 5,884 households.
Of the total respondents, 3,036, or 51.6 percent were from Metro Manila, while 2,848, or 48.4 percent were from areas outside Metro Manila.