‘9 of 10 CEOs to feel economic pinch’

Published by rudy Date posted on January 29, 2009

The Makati Business Club (MBC) said yesterday that nine out of 10 of its members expect to feel the pinch of the global financial crisis this year.

The MBC has released the results of its latest Business Opinion Survey Series that was conducted among its members this month to gauge the probable impact of the global financial crisis on their business operations and workforce this year.

One hundred twenty-six MBC members took part in the Business Opinion Survey conducted from Jan. 16 to 23.

According to the MBC, which is composed of senior executives from the country’s largest corporations, 93 percent of its members surveyed said they expect to feel the global financial fallout.

Founded in 1981, the MBC is composed of over 800 chief executive officers and senior executives representing almost 450 of the largest and most dynamic corporations in the Philippines.

Over the years, the MBC has become the leading forum for business and government leaders. Issues discussed before the MBC have included trade and investment policy, monetary and fiscal matters, labor and employment, energy, education, health, media, foreign policy, and politics and elections.

“Recession was already happening in the US even before the financial crisis exploded in October 2008, so weak US demand was bound to affect us anyway. The financial crisis exacerbated what should have been a mild economic crisis,” Alberto Lim, MBC executive director, said.

The MBC survey also showed that more than six out of 10 (60 percent) of its members say the crisis will have a slight impact, while nearly three out of 10 (29 percent) expect it will have a substantial impact.

Only seven percent believe it will have no effect on their business, the MBC said.

Meanwhile, despite bleak forecast for the country’s business sector this year, the MBC said only 19 percent of its members see a possible downsizing in their companies.

According to the survey, nearly half of these (46 percent) expect a three to 10 percent reduction in their workforce, and close to a quarter (21 percent) project the extent of workers’ dismissal to be from 20 to 30 percent.

In the meantime, 13 percent expect a cut in manpower by about 50 to 60 percent, while eight percent expect an 80 to 90 percent workforce reduction.

According to the MBC, the remaining 12 percent in the survey did not disclose the extent of their possible workforce reduction. Fifty-eight of the companies that said they expect the possibility of downsizing their workforce this year are service providers, followed by manufacturing companies with 21 percent, exporters with 17 percent, and importers with four percent.–Mike Frialde, Philippine Star

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