Philippine retail sales grow

Philippine retail sales in March rose 1.1 per cent year-on-year and 0.4 per cent month-on-month.

During the first quarter, retail sales averaged 1 per cent, up from the average 0.7 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Earlier in the year, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas noted that the wholesale and retail trade sectors’ outlook was less positive for the first quarter of 2016 than previous quarters, but are more upbeat for the second quarter.

“The less favorable outlook of the trade sector for the [first] quarter stemmed from expectations of a slack in consumer demand and business activities after the Christmas season, and stiffer domestic competition emanating from the construction of new malls,” the central bank said in a report.

Local business’ outlook paled in the first quarter mainly due to volatility in oil prices and the uncertainty on the 2016 national and local election, according to a BSP survey.

“Respondents attributed their optimism for the [second] quarter to expectations of generally more robust demand during the summer and enrollment seasons, a surge in spending over the course of the campaign period, business expansion and improvement in product lines.”

In March, BSP reported that consumer sentiment continues to be more favourable for the second quarter of 2016.

Philippine consumer confidence index was forecast to increase in the second quarter and remain in the positive territory at 9.1 per cent, up from 5.7 per cent in the previous quarter’s survey.

“Consumers were of the view that good governance and improvements in infrastructure and peace and order would continue over the next 12 months. They also anticipated lesser household expenses as well as an increase in household income and savings which could translate to growth in real income and higher purchasing power of the household.”

“The spending outlook index declined across commodity groups, except for water and electricity. The biggest decreases were observed for transportation, fuel, personal care and effects, and clothing and footwear.”


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