TRADERS look forward to higher economic growth this year, the Makati Business Club (MBC) reported. Eighty-one percent of respondents in an internal survey believe that economic growth in 2007 will be higher than the 5.4%-record of 2006.

Overall, MBC says, the business outlook as shown in the survey results is the highest in 11 years.

MBC itself says the optimism stems from the past year’s experience of the business community. Asked to name “the most positive developments” in 2006, the respondents listed economic trends such as government’s improving fiscal position, a stronger peso, and lower inflation and lending rates.

The annual Executive Outlook Survey was conducted from 22 January to 15 February this year. Sixty-two members responded, representing 9.4 percent of the group’s total membership.

The same survey evaluated the performance of government agencies: Garnering the highest leaps in ratings from the previous year were the Bureau of Internal Revenue, Bureau of Customs, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Supreme Court, and Office of the President.

Among the least trusted, meanwhile, are the Departments of Interior and Local Government, Justice, and Foreign Affairs.

Respondents also listed the issues that they said government must address this year:

  • Clean and honest elections
  • Infrastructure development
  • Graft and corruption
  • Peace and order
  • Poverty alleviation
  • Extrajudicial killings

They named as well those they want to be elected to the Senate in May:

View the survey tables.

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