Companies are expected to continue hiring employees in the fourth quarter, as the employment outlook remains steady, results of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ business expectations survey show.
The employment outlook index for the next quarter was broadly steady at 23.6 percent from 23.8 percent in the previous quarter’s survey.
“The positive reading indicates that more firms will continue to hire new employees than those that said otherwise,” Bangko Sentral said.
The percentage of businesses with expansion plans in the industry sector, however, decreased to 28.1 percent in the fourth quarter from 30.3 percent a quarter ago.
The survey also showed that firms were expecting better financial conditions and easy access to credit in the third quarter. The financial conditions index remained steady at 1.5 percent from 1.3 percent in the previous quarter.
Bangko Sentral said this showed that firms expecting better financial conditions continued to outnumber those that said otherwise during the quarter.
“Firms were also of the view that their financing requirements could be met through available credit as respondents who reported easy access to credit exceeded those that said otherwise. However, the number that said so decreased compared to that a quarter ago,” it said.
Meanwhile, respondents who expected inflation to go up continued to outnumber those that held the opposite view for the current and next quarters, but the number that said so declined relative to the previous quarter.
“Businesses expected the rate of increase in commodity prices to remain low at 1.5 percent for the third quarter and 1.6 percent for the fourth quarter,” the survey said.
Inflation in the first seven months averaged 1.4 percent, below the government’s official target range of 2 percent to 4 percent this year. Also, the 1.9-percent turnout in July was within the Bangko Sentral’s forecast range of 1.5 percent to 2.4 percent for the month.
Survey respondents also anticipated the peso to depreciate in the third quarter but to gain strength in the fourth quarter. Also, firms expected that interest rates would be higher for the third quarter and fourth quarter.