20 March 2013 – Makati Business Club chairman Ramon del Rosario Jr. presented today the highlights of the MBC Executive Outlook Survey for the first semester of 2013.
At the joint membership meeting of MBC, the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, and the Management Association of the Philippines held at the Mandarin Oriental Manila in Makati City, Mr. del Rosario reported that as much as 66% of the business executives who responded to the survey have a very positive outlook on the Philippine economy, believing that GDP growth this year will surpass last year’s 6.6% full-year GDP growth.
He pointed out that the positive sentiment is mirrored in the respondents’ outlook on investments, exports and imports, and the peso-dollar exchange rate. “Eighty-three percent of respondents project 2013 investments to surpass last year’s levels—the highest measured rate since 1995. Majority of the surveyed executives likewise expect higher exports and imports, as well as the continued appreciation of the peso against the dollar,” said Mr. del Rosario. Inflation and interest rate levels are expected to stay at 2012 levels.
The corporate outlook for 2013 is very upbeat as well, with a great majority of the executives polled foreseeing higher gross revenues and net income for their firms, which will be accompanied by increased investments and hiring.
MBC members were also asked about their sentiments about two key issues—the ASEAN economic integration and “Charter change.” On the first issue, while a runaway majority of 95% of the executives surveyed are aware of the ASEAN Economic Community’s establishment in 2015, as much as 64% also feel that the country is not prepared for the approaching regional integration.
On Charter change, the MBC chairman noted a significant shift in MBC members’ opinion on the issue. In 2003, just 50% of survey respondents were for introducing amendments to the Constitution. In the latest survey, as much as 91% are now in favor of amending the Constitution’s economic provisions, and 59% believe that this should be pursued within the coming 12 months.
Each year, MBC conducts the two-part EOS among MBC’s member companies. The first part, conducted in the first semester yearly, seeks to provide a snapshot of MBC members’ outlook for the country’s economy, as well as for their own businesses, given present conditions. The second part, conducted in the second semester, aims to measure how MBC members rate the performance of government offices, agencies, and services.
This latest EOS was conducted from 5 February to 6 March 2013, with 16.8% of MBC’s member companies as respondents, excluding foreign embassies and trade offices.