Fewer companies plan to expand; more workers watched

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BW FILE PHOTO

FEWER LOCAL BUSINESSES explan to expand their business even if they plan to hire more workers, according to a study by the central bank of the Philippines.

Companies expecting to grow in the next 12 months fell to 25.6% from 26.8%, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said in its survey of business expectations for this quarter.

Firms expect the peso to weaken further in the first half of the year, before strengthening again from July to March next year.

Companies also expect borrowing rates to rise and inflation to exceed the central bank’s 2-4% target. The survey found that more companies expected credit to remain tight this quarter.

Meanwhile, the employment outlook index for the second quarter rose from 24.5% to 24.7%, but fell to 28.9% (from 32.4%) for the following 12 months.

“The slightly higher positive reading for the second quarter of 2022 suggests that IfCompanies are eager to hire more people in the next quarter, while the decline in the index for the next 12 months means that IfCompanies are still looking to hire, but to a lesser extent, over the next few months,” the BSP said.

The study found businesses were less optimistic for the first quarter, as evidenced by the overall confidence index, which rose from 39.7% to 32.9% amid rising coronavirus infections spurred by the Omicron variant, rising commodity prices, weaker peso and typhoon. Odette.

The central bank covered 1,498 companies for the survey, which was conducted from January 21 to March 4. Luz Wendy T. Noble

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