High Mining Expansion Plans

MORE businesses want to hire more employees in the third quarter (Q3) of this year than they intend to expand their operations, a recent survey conducted by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed.

According to the Business Expectations Survey (BES), the share of companies planning to expand in the industrial sector fell to 17.9% from 20.8% in the previous survey.

“In the next quarter, the percentage of firms in the manufacturing and electricity, gas and water sub-sectors reporting expansion plans decreased, while the proportion of firms in the mining industry with expansion plans increased and the share of firms in the agriculture, fisheries and forestry sub-sectors was stable. ,” the BSP said in a statement.

The percentage dropped from 25.6 percent to 24.4 percent in the next 12 months.

“Over the next 12 months, the percentage of firms in the manufacturing sub-sector with the intention of expanding business operations declined,” Bangko Sentral notes.

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On the contrary, the share of enterprises in mining, agriculture, fisheries and forestry planning to expand their activities over the next 12 months has increased, while in the utilities sub-sector it has remained stable.

However, the survey showed that 25.4% of respondents, up from 24.7% in the previous survey, are optimistic about job prospects in the coming quarter. Over the next 12 months, it also increased from 28.9 percent to 30.7 percent.

The central bank said “higher positive numbers for the third quarter of 2022 and the next 12 months suggest that firms are looking to hire more people in the next quarter and in the next few months.”

The outlook for expansion and employment is comparable to the less optimistic business sentiment in July-September this year.

The Confidence Index, which assesses the prospects for the future growth of businesses, fell to 46.4% in the third quarter of 2022 from 59.7% in the previous quarter.

“Respondents’ less optimistic forecast for the next quarter was primarily due to: (a) uncertainty during the leadership change; (b) ongoing public health risks posed by Covid-19; (c) concerns about rising inflation and its impact on the economy. business transactions; and (d) a seasonal drop in production due to weather,” Bangko Sentral said in a statement.

It said reasons for less optimistic third-quarter 2022 forecasts by other responding firms include rising production costs for automotive components, the negative impact of the Russian-Ukrainian crisis and Covid-19-driven lockdowns in China.

The most recent BES surveyed 1,509 businesses nationwide from April 18 to June 1 this year.