More Filipinos are expecting the economy and their quality of life to improve in the coming months, according to a survey by the Social Weather Stations (SWS).
In its third quarter nationwide survey, the SWS said 30 percent of the respondents were “optimistic” that the economy will get better in the next 12 months while 12 percent were “pessimistic.”
This brings the net optimism to “very high” plus 18 (percentage of optimistic minus percentage of pessimistic) about the economy. It was three points more than the similarly “very high” plus 15 logged in June (31 percent optimistic versus 15 percent pessimistic, rounded off).
The SWS survey was conducted from September 2 to 5, among 1,200 respondents, which was first published in a business newspaper on Thursday.
Net optimism about the economy refers to expectations about the Philippine economy in general, and is different from net personal optimism, which refers to expectations in personal quality of life.
The SWS explained that the three-point improvement in net economic optimism was a result of increases of 12, six and two points in Metro Manila (to a “very high” +19 from a “high” +7 in June), Mindanao (where it stayed “very high” at +25 from +19) and in Balance Luzon (where it also stayed “high” at +19 from +17), respectively, that offset a seven-point drop in the Visayas (to a “high” +7 from a “very high” +14).
It noted the improvements of seven, four and two points for classes ABC (to a “very high” +16 from a “high” +7), E (where it stayed “very high” at +25 from +21) and D (where it also stayed “very high” at +17 from +15), respectively.
The same survey also found that 38 percent of respondents believed that their quality of life would improve in the next 12 months, against 5 percent who thought otherwise.
This resulted in a net optimism rating of plus 33, that was three points less than June’s plus 36 (42 percent optimists versus 6 percent pessimists).
The SWS attributed the three-point decrease in the national net personal optimism to the negligible four-point increase in Metro Manila (to +40 from +36 in June) that was otherwise tempered by declines in Balance Luzon (by four points to +33 from +37), the Visayas (also four points to +25 from +29) and Mindanao (by six points to +34 from +40).
The net personal optimism, however, improved among those belonging to ABC class (to +41 from +37 in June) that was similarly offset by four-point drops each in class D (to +31 from +35) and in E (to +35 from +39).
When asked if they experienced a change in their quality of life over the past 12 months, 29 percent of respondents said they experienced an improvement, while 25 percent said the opposite.
This translates into a “high” net gainers score of plus 4, a mere point above the similarly “high” plus 3 recorded in June (28 percent gainers versus 26 percent losers, rounded off).
The SWS attributed the slight improvement among “net gainers” to a turnaround to plus 3 from minus 5 in June in Mindanao that offset flat results in Metro Manila (+2) and the Visayas (-1) as well as a negligible decrease in Balance Luzon (to +7 from +8).
It also noted the six-point increase among ABC respondents (to +18 from June’s +12) and a turnaround among those in E (to +4 from -12) that offset a two-point fall in D (to +3 from +5).
The SWS survey used face-to-face interviews of adults nationwide and has sampling error margins of three points for national percentages and six points each for Metro Manila, balance of Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao.
The SWS classifies net personal optimism scores of 30 and above as “very high”; 20 to 29 as “high”; 10 to 19 – which includes the historical median and mode, “or what is normally expected” – “fair”; 1 to 9, “mediocre”; zero to -9, “low”; and minus 10 and below as “very low.”
For net optimism about the economy, it considers “very high” scores of at least 10; those 1 to 9 as “high”; zero to -9 as “fair” noting that “a slightly negative score is already better than normal”; -10 to -19 as “mediocre”; -20 to -29 as “low”; and scores -30 and below as “very low.”
Malacañang, meanwhile, welcomed the latest SWS survey on the increasing optimism of Filipinos, especially in the last year of the Aquino administration.
In a news conference, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the government is happy to know that despite various challenges, the public remains optimistic about their future.