RTTNews - Business confidence in the Philippines continued to improve in the third quarter, as the optimists outnumbered the pessimists for the first time since the third quarter of 2008, a survey report released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas revealed Thursday.

The overall confidence index or CI stood at 18.4% in the third quarter, jumping sharply by 31.3 index points year-on-year and by 21 index points quarter-on-quarter. The favorable sentiment was a result of improving global economic conditions and an improvement in the domestic macroeconomic fundamentals such as declining inflation, easing interest rates, rising overseas Filipinos' remittances and the relatively stable peso, the central bank said.

In terms of individual sectors, the construction sector showed the most favorable business outlook, with a confidence index of 37.3%. It was followed by the services sector at 20.2%, the industrial sector at 18.8% and the wholesale and retail trade sectors at 12.8%.

Survey respondents also revealed high hopes for the fourth quarter. The coming-quarter's business confidence index stood at 33.7%.

Meanwhile, in a separate report released Thursday, the National Statistical Coordination Board announced that the Philippine economy grew 1.5% year-on-year in the second quarter, after a revised 0.6% growth in the first quarter.

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