September 25, 2017, 1:44 am
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Pinoys optimistic on economy: SWS

Net optimism on the country’s economy remained in the “excellent” level despite an 11 point drop to +27 in the second quarter Social Weather Station (SWS) survey.

The June 23 to 26 survey, which involved 1,200 adult respondents nationwide and had a margin of error of +/-3 points, also showed  the net personal optimism improved to  +40 (44 percent optimistic or expect their quality of life to improve in the next 12 years, 4 percent pessimistic or expect their lives to deteriorate).

The survey showed  39 percent of the respondents are optimistic that the economy will improve in the next 12 months (down from 47 percent) while 12 percent said it will deteriorate (up from 9 percent).

This yielded a net optimism score of an “excellent” +27 despite being 11 points down from the “excellent” +38 in the March first quarter SWS survey. It is also down by 19 points from the “excellent” +56 net score in June last year.

SWS defines the net optimism score about the economy as “excellent” if +20 and up; “very high” if between +10 to +19; “high” if + 1 to + 9; “fair” if– 9 to zero; “mediocre” if –19 to –10; “low” if –29 to –20; “very low” if –30 down.

The survey also showed that the net optimism about the economy all stayed at the “excellent” level across geographical locations and socioeconomic classes despite a 7 to 15 points and 7 and 27 point drop, respectively.

Net optimism fell the most among class “ABC” with +22 (from +49), followed by those from class “B” with +27 (from +38), and class “E” with +25 (from +32); and among respondents from Mindanao with +34 (from +49), followed by those from Metro Manila with +27 (from +39); Luzon with +23 (from +33) and Visayas with +27 (from +34).

The SWS results also showed that 44 percent of respondents expect their quality of life to improve next year while 4 percent expects it to worsen yielding a net personal optimism score of an “excellent” +40, which is one grade up and four points higher than the “very high” +36 (43 percent optimism, 6 percent pessimism) in March.

SWS defines net personal optimism as “excellent” if +40 and up; “very high” if between +30 to +39; “high” if + 20 to + 29; “fair” if 10 to 19; “mediocre” if +1 to +9; “low” if –9 to zero; “very low” if –10 down. A change between net optimism level is viewed either as an upgrade or downgrade.

The SWS found the net personal optimism scores all improving across geographical location and socioeconomic class, with an “excellent” +46 (from +43) among respondents from Metro Manila and +42 (from +37) among those from Luzon, and a “very high” +37 (from +32) and +36 (from +34) among respondents from Mindanao and Visayas, respectively.

In terms of socioeconomic groups, net personal optimism improved to an “excellent” +41 (from +38) among respondents from class “D”; and remained “very high” at +39 (from +37) among class ABC; and improved to a “high” +37 (from +29) among class “E.”

The survey also found that 37 percent (up from 35 percent) of the respondents claimed that their lives improved (“gainers”) in the last 12 months while 19 percent (unchanged from March) said they’re worse off (“losers”), which yielded a “very high” +17 net gainers score (almost unchanged from +16 in March).

SWS defines the net gainers’ score as “excellent” if +20 and up; “very high” if between +10 to +19; “high” if + 1 to + 9; “fair” if– 9 to zero; “mediocre” if –19 to –10; “low” if –29 to –20; “very low” if –30 down and a movement between levels as an upgrade or downgrade.

The survey said there were more net gainers from Luzon with an “excellent” +20 (from +11), followed by those from Visayas with a “very high” +19 (from 14), from Metro Manila with a “very high” +14 (from +26), and Mindanao with a “very high” +13 (from +21).

Net gainers reading remained in the “excellent” level among respondents from class “ABC” with +27 (from +23), in the “very high” level among class “D” with 18 (unchanged from March), and in the high” level among class “E” with +9 (unchanged from March).

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said Malacanang welcomed the latest SWS results which he attributed to the significant strides that the Duterte government had made to address poverty during its first year in office.

Abella said among the programs implemented includes the provisions of free medicine to indigents and bar of requiring a hospital deposit before being given treatment, free education to public school up to college, free irrigation to farmers, free public internet access, higher pension for seniors, increased combat duty pay and combat incentive pay for soldiers and policemen, additional rice subsidy to conditional cash transfer recipients, an improved microfinancing system and higher employment compensation funeral benefit.

“However, much more needs to be done, such as implementing institutional changes. The government has thus certified as urgent a comprehensive tax reform package to boost the economy and accelerate infrastructure development while raising spending for the poor. This would lay down a strong foundation for inclusive and sustainable growth to enable our people to achieve their aspiration of a matatag, maginhawa, at panatag na buhay,” he said.
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