Seven out of ten (71%) Filipinos are familiar with some of the standard economic statistics regularly reported to the public, according to the latest Third Quarter 2006 Social Weather Survey.
Two-thirds (69%) are aware of the rate of inflation, over half (55%) are aware of the rate of unemployment, and one-third (31%) are aware of the Gross National Product (GNP).
Twenty nine percent say they have not read or heard about any of these economic statistics.
The new survey, conducted from Sept. 24 to Oct. 2, 2006, also found that half (48%) consider these economic statistics as believable (kapanipaniwala).
However, a rise in GNP does not necessarily imply a general improvement in economic well-being. In particular, SWS surveys show that hunger has increased despite GNP growth in recent years (Mangahas, “The SWS Quarterly Surveys on Poverty and Hunger Show the Emptiness of GNP,” November 20, 2006).
Inflation is most recognized among the standard economic statistics
Four out of five (82%) adults in Luzon outside Metro Manila are aware of the rate of inflation, as are 71% in Visayas, 55% in Metro Manila, and 49% in Mindanao.
All socio-economic classes are well aware of the rate \nof inflation: 80% in class ABC, 69% in class D, and 64% in class E.
The unemployment rate is known to 66% in Luzon outside NCR, 54% in Visayas, 48% in Metro Manila, and 39% in Mindanao.
By socio-economic class, three out of five (62%) in class ABC are familiar with the unemployment rate, compared to 57% in class D, and 47% in class E.
Two out of five (41%) in Balance Luzon are familiar with GNP, compared to 28% in Metro Manila, 27% in Visayas, and 19% in Mindanao.
Forty percent in class ABC, 32% in class D, and 26% in class E are aware of GNP.
48% call the economic statistics believable
About half (48%) consider these economic statistics believable, consisting of 22% saying they are “very believable”, and 26% saying they are “somewhat believable”.
Thirteen percent are unsure, while 11% consider these economic statistics as “unbelievable”.
Majority (57%) in Luzon outside Metro Manila, and half (50%) in Visayas, consider the economic statistics as believable. Thirty six percent in both Mindanao and Metro Manila share this opinion.
Half (52%) of class ABC, and 48% in both class D and class E call the economic statistics believable.
The Social Weather Survey of September 2006 used face-to-face interviews of a national sample of 1,200 statistically representative households (300 each in Metro Manila, the Balance of Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao), from 240 geographical spots selected from all regions. Error margins of ±3% for national percentages and ±6% for regional percentages should be applied.
The survey items described in this release were initiated by Dr. Jose Ramon Albert, SWS Fellow and past President of the Philippine Statistical Association.