Easing coronavirus restrictions and seasonal uptick in demand ahead of the Christmas season buoyed business expectations in the fourth quarter while consumers turned less pessimistic about their future.
Separate surveys by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas showed consumers and enterprises regained some confidence in the final three months, going into the next quarter and year, although levels remained below typical trend before the pandemic.
For the fourth quarter, businesses led the slow return of confidence. The overall business confidence index jumped back to positive territory to 10.6% from minus 5.3% in the previous three months. A positive reading meant majority of the 1,513 corporations surveyed portrayed optimism toward end-2020.
Overall however, the results were far less upbeat than usual and reflected what economic officials have repeatedly said as a “crisis in confidence” left by months of lockdowns.