• Filipino businessmen optimistic


    Filipino businessmen were reported to be the “most optimistic” over the Philippine economy for 2014, US-based auditing firm Grant Thornton LLP said in a report.

    Titled “International Business Report” (IBR), the Grant Thorton research showed that 90 percent of businesses in the Philippines were optimistic for the country’s economy, side by side with United Arab Emirates also at 90 percent.

    Other countries that topped the research were: Peru with 84 percent; Indonesia, 78 percent; and New Zealand, 74 percent.

    On the other hand, countries with lowest confidence in their economies were France with -38 percent; Thailand and Greece both with -20 percent; Spain, -9 percent; Taiwan, -6 percent; and
    Argentina and Italy both with -4 percent.

    Despite destructions caused by consecutive strong typhoons and other natural disasters that threatened the Philippines economy, business groups remained positive on the country’s economy, with most firms forecasting 6-percent to 7-percent growth for 2013 and 2014.

    Besides optimism for the economy, businesses in the Philippines also have high hopes to have an increase in revenue (64 percent) and profitability (63 percent) within the year.

    The businesses in the Philippines also have high hopes in salaries being raised this year with 84 percent. Other top countries “expecting to offer employees a pay rise” included South Africa (93 percent), Turkey (92 percent), Argentina (91 percent), Sweden (90 percent) and Norway (89 percent).

    Businesses in India and Vietnam topped the optimism list for revenue and profitability growth with 86 percent and 76 percent for India, respectively, and 85 percent and 70 percent for Vietnam, respectively.

    But in terms of exports, the report showed that local businessmen were not very enthusiastic, with only 12 percent of the total firms in the country agreeing that Philippines exports could go up within the year.

    While local business groups had low expectations on exports, other countries like Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Taiwan have businesses that have increased faith in the rise of their exports with 57 percent, 46 percent and 42 percent, respectively.

    According to government forecasts, the Philippine gross domestic product is seen to grow by 6 percent to 7 percent in 2013 driven by increased infrastructure spending, revival of the manufacturing sector and increased remittances from abroad.

    The Grant Thornton IBR surveys more than 12,500 businesses in 44 economies across the globe on an annual basis to “provide insight into the economic and commercial issue affecting both listed and privately held companies” worldwide.


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