MANILA, May 23 (Xinhua) -- Business confidence in the Philippines soared to a new high in the second quarter of this year due to bullish outlook on the economy, the Philippine central bank said Thursday.
Businesses' overall confidence index rose to 54.9 percent, the highest reading since the start of the nationwide survey in the fourth quarter of 2006, Philippine Central Bank Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said.
The confidence index is computed as the percentage of firms that answered in the affirmative less the percentage of firms that answered in the negative with respect to their views on a given indicator.
Tetangco said that the respondents attributed the record-high outlook to expectations of expansion of businesses, new product lines and additional projects, particularly in construction and real estate, brisker business due to election-related spending and seasonal uptick in demand during the summer and harvest/fishing seasons.
They were also optimistic that their business operations would benefit from the country's strong macroeconomic fundamentals and investment grade credit rating from three ratings agencies, namely, Fitch Ratings, Standard and Poor's and Japan Credit Rating Agency.
For the third quarter of this year, the business outlook continued to be favorable, but with lower confidence index at 46.2 percent compared to the second quarter, mainly due to the seasonal factors, he said.