Palace: Dip in business confidence shouldn’t be attributed to Duterte
Malacañang on Monday said the decline in business confidence in the last quarter of the year as shown by a Central Bank survey should not be attributed to President Rodrigo Duterte and his policies.
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ latest business expectations survey showed firms’ overall confidence index at 39.8 percent in the 4th quarter, the lowest in more than two years. It was also lower than the 45.4 percent recorded in the third quarter.
In a statement, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar attributed the decline to “global uncertainties” including the recent US presidential election, which he said resulted in “risk aversion as investors prefer to adopt a ‘wait-and-see’ mode.”
“As we are fully aware, global uncertainties are growing due to recent events such as Brexit, Trump’s election as next US president, and slower-than- anticipated global recovery,” Andanar said.
“However, we remain confident that domestic economic fundamentals are strong and further reforms in the fiscal sector can help our country become more resilient in the years ahead,” he added.
Teresita Deveza, deputy director at BSP’s department of economic statistics, said the less buoyant business outlook was due to perceived concerns over foreign policies and economic reforms, weakening global demand, foreign exchange losses of importers due to peso depreciation, and lack of supply of raw materials.
In October, Duterte declared an “economic separation” from the Philippines’ long-time ally the United States, amid a declared pivot to China./rga