Wednesday, March 14, 2012

News Update More firms expanding, hiring - MBC survey

MANILA, Philippines - Most businesses in the country are optimistic of economic growth in the country this year and are expanding their operations and workforce, according to the Makati Business Club’s (MBC) Executive Outlook Survey for the first semester of 2012.
Ninety-three members of the MBC responded to the survey conducted from Feb. 14 to 29 representing 12.7 percent of its members.
About 81.7 percent of the respondents in the survey expect gross domestic product growth (GDP) in 2012 will be higher than the 3.7 percent growth recorded in 2011.
The same rate of respondents project higher investments to be approved by the country’s invetsment promotion agencies from the P757.3 billion last year.
Last year, only 76.1 percent were bullish about higher investments.
More companies are hiring more workers this year, with 61 percent of the respondents planning to expand their workforces compared to only 37.3 percent last year.
Some 63.7 percent of the survey respondents also said that they plan to make additional investments this year compared to only 56.7 percent in 2011.
In terms of the workforce size of of respondent companies, 26.9 percent have fewer than 100 employees, while the same proportion of respondents have over 1,000 workers. 20.4 percent have 100 to 299 employees, 11.8 percent has a workforce of 300 to 499 and10.8 percent has 500 to 999 employees.
The same survey showed, however, than business sentiments in terms of exports was dampened by the 6.9 percent drop in merchandise exports to $48 billion in 2011 with 41 percent of the respondents are of the opinion that exports will remain in the same levels this year.
In a lecture during the launch of the survey results, Bart Van Ark, chief economist of global research firm The Conference Board said the prevailing business optmism is inspired by the overall improvements in the state of the global economy.
“2012 is an interesting year because we have been seeing recovery in the US economy. There is now greater consumer confidence. US recovery is not going to be dramatic but we are seeing improvements...The underlying strength of the global economy is good,” he said. - By Czeriza Valencia