By Charmaine A. Tadalan

FILIPINO MILLENNIAL’s confidence in the country’s economic and socio-political situation has declined, according to survey results reported on Tuesday by NavarroAmper & Co., the Philippine management consultancy that forms part of the global Deloitte network.

The global survey covered 13,416 millennials in 42 countries — including 301 in the Philippines — born between January 1983 and December 1994.

The results, summarized in a press release, showed that 48% of Filipino respondents expect economic prospects to improve in the next 12 months, “significantly down from 78% last year.”

About 41% expect socio-political conditions to improve in the same period, also “significantly down” from 68% last year.

Still, Filipino millennials were generally more optimistic than many of their peers, as, globally, less than a third expected their economies and socio-political situations to improve.

The survey bared millennials’ wariness towards traditional institutions — e.g., political leaders, religious leaders, social media platforms, business leaders, traditional media and leaders of nongovernment organizations (NGO).

About 58% of the Filipino respondents said NGO leaders have a positive impact, although only 28% said this segment is “a reliable source of information.”

Political leaders fared the worst, the statement read, noting that only 16% of Filipino respondents regarded this segment as an accurate source of information, while 36% believe they have positive impact.

About 22% trusted traditional media and 21% regarded social media as sources of reliable information, although 48% believed social media have a positive impact, compared to 38% for traditional media.

“It’s a cause for concern when we see young people reporting that they have little trust in organizations and institutions they’re supposed to look up to as leaders,” Deloitte Philippines Managing Partner and chief executive officer Eric Landicho was quoted as saying in the statement.

About 76% of Filipino respondents said businesses have a positive impact on society, down from 93% last year. Globally, 55% said businesses benefit society.

“For our part as business leaders, we have the responsibility to understand what is fueling this distrust or wariness, and then to take appropriate steps to mitigate or address it,” Mr. Landicho said.

Sought for comment, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Undersecretary Rosemarie G. Edillon said in a mobile phone message: “Of course, it is a concern.”

“Note that these are subjective assessments, hence we need to know the factors that led to this response, apart from the cultural context,” Ms. Edillon said, noting that NEDA has just completed its own national values survey and will need to “look at the report” of Deloitte.

Sought separately for comment, Michael L. Ricafort, economist at Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., said in an e-mail that “the survey results may reflect the aftermath and some spillover of the effects of higher inflation and higher interest rates, especially in the latter part of 2018 up to early 2019, that resulted in lower purchasing power, thereby reflecting lower confidence in both economic and political outlook”, while UnionBank of the Philippines, Inc. chief economist Ruben Carlo O. Asuncion said via separate e-mail that “this ‘distrust’ of economic and political institutions by Filipino millennials can be viewed as an awakening of sorts” as “some realities of life are probably beginning to bite.”

Global survey finds PHL millennials less optimistic compared to previous years