President Aquino just retained his economic team for a dismal 4.9% first quarter GDP growth. An influential business group will issue a statement saying that the reason why there is a slower influx of investments is the perception that there is now an unequal playing field in business. There is no improvement in the business climate. Foreign investors still think that the economy is not leveled enough for new, robust business investments to pour in.
There are certain business groups claiming that they "own" segments of the economy, that new entrants are "unwelcome". The economy is not liberal enough, says foreign business groups.
Graft and corruption continues unabated, and smuggling remains very strong. Customs chief Angelito Alvarez reasons that it will take him time to curb smuggling. The fault of Alvarez is the fact that he is, allegedly, dipping his fingers in the game. He should be out by July.
Consumer confidence, based on the Bangko Sentral statistics, remains in the negative. Domestic demand is low. Production has also slowed down.