Optimism falls double digits in SWS Q3 survey

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OPTIMISM toward personal qualify of life and expectations on the Philippine economy fell double digits in a new survey by the Social Weather Stations.

The Third Quarter 2018 Social Weather Survey, conducted Sept. 15-23, found 28% (“gainers”) of adult Filipinos saying their lives improved and 30% losers saying their lives worsened, leading to a negative Net Gainers score of -2 (% gainers minus % losers), classified by SWS as “fair.”

That score is 7 points below the “high” +5 in June and is the lowest since the “fair” -8 in September 2014, SWS said, noting further, “This is the first time for Net Gainers to be negative again, after 14 consecutive quarterly positive scores, starting in the First Quarter of 2015.”

The noncommissioned survey found 36% “optimists” expecting their personal quality of life to improve in the next 12 months and 9% “pessimists” expecting it to get worse, for a Net Personal Optimists score of a “high” +27 (% Optimists minus % Pessimists), yet 17 points down from the “excellent” +44 in June. SWS also said this September score is the lowest since the “high” +27 in August 2012.

The survey also found 31% optimistic that the Philippine economy next year would get better, and 20% feeling it would deteriorate, for a Net Economic Optimists score of a “very high” +11 (% Economic optimists minus % Economic pessimists), but still 19 points below the “excellent” +30 in June. The polling group said this is the lowest since the “high” +6 in March 2015.

Net Personal Optimism refers to expectations in personal quality of life, while Net Economic Optimists refers to expectations about the general Philippine economy.

SWS said the 17-point fall in Net Personal Optimists was due to declines in all areas from June to September.

Like Net Personal Optimists, Net Economic Optimists also fell in all classes and all areas, with Mindanao’s 21-point drop comparing with Metro Manila’s 8-point decline.

The 7-point decline in the national Net Gainers score was due to declines in Mindanao, Metro Manila and Balance Luzon, combined with an increase in the Visayas.

Net Gainers also fell sharply in class ABC by 30 points, from an “excellent” +31 in June to “fair” -1 in September, and also had a significant decline of 13 points to -14.

“Net Gainers declined in overall urban areas, from net zero (fair) in June to -2 (fair) in September, and in overall rural areas, from +10 (very high) in June to -2 (fair) in September,” SWS said.

“By gender, it fell among women, from +7 (high) in June to +3 (high) in September, and among men, from +3 (high) to -7 (fair) in September.”

The survey was conducted using face-to-face interviews of 1,500 adults (18 years old and above) nationwide: 600 in Balance Luzon, and 300 each in Metro Manila, Visayas, and Mindanao, with sampling error margins of ±3% for national percentages, ±4% for Balance Luzon, and ±6% each for the other areas.