MANILA (REUTERS) - Business sentiment in the Philippines soared to an all-time high during the second quarter after the country was awarded investment grade credit ratings by Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor's, the central bank said on Thursday.
The result of the central bank's quarterly Business Expectations Survey showed the overall confidence index rising to 54.9 per cent from first quarter's 41.5 per cent.
"This is the highest reading since the start of the nationwide survey in the fourth quarter of 2006," the central bank said.
The confidence index is the percentage of firms that answered in the affirmative less the number of firms that answered in the negative with respect to their views on a given sector.
The survey was conducted between April 1 and May 10, with 1,554 firms participating, the central bank said.
Standard & Poor's raised the Philippines' credit rating to investment grade on May 2, less than two months after a similar move by Fitch, citing the country's strong external profile, moderate inflation and declining reliance on foreign currency debt.