PHL’s q1 ’14 consumer sentiment up

By Joann Santiago

MANILA, March 28 (PNA) — Consumer sentiment in the Philippines for the first quarter of 2014 improved tracking those of Germany, Indonesia, South Korea and Taiwan.

Result of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) consumer expectation survey (CES) for the first three months of the year showed that the index improved to -18.8 percent from the previous quarter’s -21.3 percent.

BSP Department of Economic Statistics (DES) director Rosabel Guerrero, in a briefing Friday, said respondents attributed this improvement to the availability of more jobs, increase in the number of employed family members, more investment prospects, higher income, strongest business activity, and good harvest.

Monetary officials note that the index has been in negative since the survey was started in 2004 but pointed out that what they are tracking is the trend.

The index for the next quarter went up to 5.4 percent from the previous survey’s 2.8 percent.

Similarly, the index for the next 12 months rose to 19.3 percent from 14.1 percent in the survey for the fourth quarter of 2014.

These were attributed to the government’s good governance bid, the continued implementation of the government’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), and better financial situation as more family members get a jobs.

Amid the expected better family finance situation, the respondents expect higher expenditure driven by projected increase in utility and fuel prices.

BSP Deputy Director Diwa Guinigundo, during the same briefing, said the index improve based on respondents’ take on their personal situation.

He said economic indicators support this outlook noting that among others purchasing manager’s index (PMI) of the country rose to 58 last January from 54 in the previous month.

A reading above 50 indicates growth while a below 50 level shows otherwise.

Guinigundo said book-to-bill ratio, or the proportion of order to deliveries, remains above 100 as orders continue to rise above deliveries.

Also, energy sales are up, which shows the sustained demand of the growing economy.

The survey was done from January 21 to February 3, 2014 and got a response rate of 98.2 percent.

The respondents was taken from the National Statistics Office’s (NSO) Master Sample List of Household. (PNA)