MANILA, Philippines — Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion on Sunday said the fourth quarter of 2022 will be crucial for the economy as consumer spending is expected to pick up, urging that mobility be maintained to ensure that the country’s economic recovery does not stall.
Concepcion said the last three months of the year, which will coincide with the Christmas season, will be particularly important for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and to the Philippine economy in general.
“We need people going out. If people don’t spend, this will affect our economy. How will we attain the growth target that is needed to maintain our credit rating? The last quarter, beginning this October, is crucial for our MSMEs,” Concepcion said in a statement.
Concepcion said that a number of external factors, which threaten to weaken consumer spending were beyond the government’s control, implying that other measures have to be implemented to temper the effects.
“We cannot control the rising prices and rising interest rates. External factors like the conflict in Russia and Ukraine are now affecting all of us,” Concepcion said.
“What we can control is our own willingness to keep businesses active,” he added.
Some industries have recently expressed hope that the Christmas season will have a substantial effect on consumer spending, accelerating their recovery from the pandemic.
For instance, the local car industry said they expect vehicle sales to pick up toward the end of the year as buyers were generally more willing to spend for high-ticket items during this time.
“Normally December or [toward] the end of the year, sales are picking up. We hope that this would continue,” lawyer Rommel Gutierrez, president of the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc., told reporters a few days ago. George Barcelon, president of Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, also expressed the same optimism that consumer spending during the Yuletide season will rise, helping local businesses that are still reeling from the effects of the pandemic.
“It generally gets better during this time. I think the challenge now is really how to contain [price increases],” Barcelon told the Inquirer earlier this month when sought for comment on prospects toward the end of the year.
Concepcion highlighted the importance of continued vigilance against COVID-19, saying caution is particularly important now as schools have returned to holding in-person classes as well as the easing of the face mask rules outdoors.