2 in 5 Pinoys believe PH economy to worsen in next 12 months — SWS | Inquirer News
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Highest pessimism rates since 2008 global financial crisis

2 in 5 Pinoys believe PH economy to worsen in next 12 months — SWS

/ 07:54 PM September 09, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — There are 40 percent of Filipinos who believe that the country’s economy would be in a more problematic state in the next 12 months compared to now, a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey revealed.

The survey released by SWS on Wednesday also found out that this 40 percent economic pessimism rate among adult Filipinos — or the belief that the economy would take on a worse turn — was the highest since a 52 percent rate recorded in June 2008.

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In 2008, the Philippines under former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was affected — albeit not gravely — by the global financial crisis.

Meanwhile, 24 percent of the respondents believe that the country’s economic status would remain the same, while 30 percent expect it to improve.  However, this 30 percent economic optimism, or belief that the economy would be better, is at its lowest since the 27 percent recorded last March 2015.

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“The resulting Net Economic Optimism score of –9 (% Economic Optimists minus % Economic Pessimists, correctly rounded) is classified by SWS as mediocre. This is 47 points below the very high +38 in December 2019, and the lowest since the low –19 in February 2009,” SWS said in its report.

“Net Economic Optimism ranged from high (+20 to +29) to excellent (+40 and above) in 16 out of 18 surveys since December 2015, declining only to fair (+10 to +19) in September 2018 and mediocre (-9 to +9) in July 2020,” it added.

Net Economic optimism also fell among all locales surveyed.  In Metro Manila, it fell from +39 in December 2019 to -1 in July 2020, whereas in Balance Luzon’s +37 score in December 2019 went down to -5.

For Visayas, net economic optimism was at +33 in December 2019, then down to -30 in July — the highest drop among all areas.  In Mindanao, the +44 score in December 2019 went down to  -7.

Last August, it was announced that the Philippine economy officially went into recession due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced the suspension of work during the early stages, except for essential workers like those in healthcare institutions.

The gross domestic product shrunk by 16.5 percent for the second quarter, when most people were ordered to stay at home to prevent coronavirus transmissions.  SWS also noted last August that unemployment rate has reached a record-high 45.5 percent in July — which means that 27.3 million Filipinos have no jobs.

A separate SWS survey said that 79 percent of Filipinos believe life has worsened since the pandemic, while 43 percent expect their lives to worsen in the next 12 months.

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Despite the high pessimism, another SWS report in July showed that 44 percent of Filipinos believe that the worst for the COVID-19 pandemic is already over.

SWS conducted the survey through mobile phone and computer-assisted telephone interviews of 1,555 adult Filipinos, subdivided according to population sampling between Metro Manila (306), Balance Luzon (451), Visayas (388), and Mindanao (410).

SWS said it maintains sampling error margins of ±2% for national percentages, ±6% for Metro Manila, and ±5 for Balance Luzon, ±5% for the Visayas, and ±5% for Mindanao.

JE

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