MAKATI BUSINESS CLUB  POLL:  PESSIMISM  OVER  RP  GROWTH

MANILA
, August 2
 (STAR) There was less optimism about the country’s economic growth prospects this year as the worst-ever political crisis to hit the Arroyo administration was seen to be taking its toll on the economy, a survey of the country’s top business executives showed.

The Makati Business Club, one of several civil society organizations which supported calls for President Arroyo’s resignation, released the results of its Executive Outlook Survey yesterday, which showed that 71 percent of MBC executives polled felt that the economy would likely grow at a lower rate this year.

Growth of the gross domestic product (GDP) has in fact started to fall in the first quarter to 4.6 percent. Last year’s growth for the same period was 6.4 percent.

The MBC survey had 94 respondents, representing 12.7 percent of its more than 700 members. A little over 70 percent of the respondents hold top management positions in their companies and close to 77 percent are Filipinos.

"Despite the government’s improved fiscal condition in the first half of the year, optimism in the economy among business executives has dropped as the political crisis takes its toll on the economy," the MBC stated.

"Business optimism at the beginning of the year has reversed into an onset of pessimism in the second half as the country has slipped into a prolonged political crisis," the MBC claimed.

The MBC survey is conducted twice a year. The first survey this year was conducted last January. — Marichu Villanueva

Survey: Business people pessimistic amid political crisis 08/01 6:28:29 PM

MANILA (AP) - Pessimism among business leaders has risen sharply as President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's worst-ever political crisis is seen as taking an economic toll, according to a survey released Monday.

The survey, conducted July 1-29 by the Makati Business Club (MBC), reported that 71 percent of executives polled feel the economy will likely grow at a lower rate than last year.

"Business optimism at the beginning of the year has reversed into an onset of pessimism in the second half as the country has slipped into a prolonged political crisis," the MBC said.

In an MBC survey in January, 58.6 percent of respondents said they believed the economy would grow at the same pace or better than in 2004.

In the latest survey, over 86 percent also felt that inflation will be higher this year than in 2004, up from 73 percent in the last survey.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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