Only 42 percent of adult Pinoys are ‘economic optimists’ — SWS survey

Published January 5, 2021, 4:03 PM

by Dhel Nazario

Less than half of adult Filipinos believe that the Philippine Economy will improve in the next 12 months, according to the latest results of a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.

Market-goers shop inside Paco Market on Tuesday.
(Photo by Jansen Romero / MANILA BULLETIN)

The nationwide survey done face-to-face for the first time among 1,500 respondents from November 21 to 25 found that 42 percent of adult Filipinos believe that the Philippine Economy will improve (termed by SWS as “Economic Optimists”), 28 percent said it will stay the same (“Neutral”), and 18 percent said it will worsen (“Economic Pessimists”) in the next 12 months.

However, SWS classified the resulting Net Economic Optimism score of +24 (percentage of Economic Optimists minus percentage Economic Pessimists) as high (+20 to +29). Net Economic Optimism is different from Net Personal Optimism, which refers to expectations in personal quality-of-life.

SWS said that the November 2020 Net Economic Optimism was a recovery from the mediocre (-9 to +9) scores of -9 in July 2020 and -5 in September 2020. In four surveys in 2019, the net score was either high or very high (+30 to +39) before dropping to a mediocre range in July 2020.

It mentioned that the survey question on expectations on the general Philippine Economy in the next 12 months has been fielded 88 times since September 1998.

SWS attributed the  29-point recovery in the national Net Economic Optimism score to the increases in all areas from September 2020: by 51 points in Mindanao, by 28 points in the Visayas, by 24 points in Metro Manila, and by 19 points in Balance Luzon.

“The net scores in each area dipped to negative range, wherein pessimists outnumber optimists, in July 2020. Recovery came earlier in Metro Manila and Balance Luzon as both areas received mediocre net scores of +7 and +5, respectively, in September 2020. Meanwhile, the Visayas and Mindanao net scores stayed negative at very low -24 and low -15, respectively,” SWS said.

In November 2020, Net Economic Optimism was very high in Mindanao (+36) and Metro Manila (+31), high in the Balance Luzon (+24), and mediocre in the Visayas (+4).

In four surveys in 2019, the net scores in each area have been either high or very high except in Mindanao where the net scores were excellent (+40 and up).

Meanwhile, another November 2020 survey found 44 percent of adults expect their personal quality of life to improve (“Personal Optimists”), 36 percent expect it to stay the same (“No Change”), and 9 percent expect it to worsen (“Personal Pessimists”) in the next 12 months.

Net Economic Optimism is higher among Personal Optimists (excellent +55) than among those who said ‘No Change’ (fair +10) and among Personal Pessimists (execrable -40).

On the other hand, Net Economic Optimism is higher among adults who belong to Self-Rated Not Poor families (high +28) and Borderline Poor families (very high +30) than among those from Self-Rated Poor families (fair +18).   

 
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