WHAT should make the people of Central Visayas heave a deep sigh of relief is the result of the recent Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Business Expectations Survey, which was done “at the height of the election season.”

Report showed that 47 percent of the respondents in Central Visayas were confident that the region will have better business and economic performance in the third quarter, from July to September.

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The surveys that the BSP undertakes every quarter tacitly shows the economic prospects of the different regions of the archipelago, indicating the economic direction the individual regions of the republic is moving to.

The result, according to an official of the BSP’s Department of Economic Statistics, indicated a bullish attitude.

Upbeat look

In Central Visayas, the BSP revealed, the region’s confidence index was almost at the “pre-2008 crisis levels.”

Further, the respondents, particularly in Region 7, anticipated that the peso will “appreciate and inflation and interest rates will rise…in the third quarter.”

Likewise, respondents nationwide appeared optimistic about recovery in export earnings, and of a moderate inflation along with the increase in overseas remittances, and a stable peso.

The upbeat outlook for the Visayas may also be anchored on the fact that it has the “lowest average annual population growth among the three major island groups, with 19

million” total inhabitants, per data from the National Statistics Office (NSO).

Split up into islands, the three groups are able to have varied products from agriculture, fisheries, and their forests, topped by the services of the skilled sector of its population.

Unermployment

Where Central Visayas may have failed its population is in the area of employment.

While the overall economic outlook is upbeat in business and industry, unemployment rate was 8.1 percent in January, compared to 7.8 percent in the same period last year.

Underemployment was 18.1 percent compared to just 14 percent over the same period last year. But the rates in other regions went up 19.7 percent above the nation’s average.

This reality is further strengthened by reports of potential investors looking towards Cebu as area for investment.

In fact, the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry the other day had a sister-chamber agreement with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Australia-Philippines (CCIAP) to generate easy access for commercial ventures between Australia and Cebu, a move that nourishes sure economic growth.