Business owners bullish in year of the Metal Rat

BUSINESS owners see a bullish economic outlook as the Chinese community marks the start of the lunar calender’s Year of the Metal Rat.

Cebuano-Chinese businessmen said they expect the economy to continue to be prosperous this year.

Cebu is home to a huge Chinese community, mostly traders, growing to a mix of locals and immigrants from China.

“We are expecting a more stable year with our local economy growing better than last year,” said Steven Yu, incoming president of the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI).

Quoting feng shui expert Richard Yu, the business leader said the “metal rat” symbolizes “an auspicious start of a new decade where everything is possible.”

The Chinese have become one of the biggest traders in Cebu.

A number of Chinese-owned businesses in Cebu still follow Feng shui, a traditional practice originating from ancient China, which claims to use energy forces to harmonize individuals with their surrounding environment.

Many practice Feng shui in business, particularly on picking which time and date is lucky for for store opening, ground breaking and expansion.

“Rat symbolizes new beginnings,” Yu said.

Such projection bodes well with the expectation that the economy will continue to grow.

“Our fundamentals also support such growth outlook which will be consumption driven,” he noted.

Robert Go, who runs a supermarket business in Cebu, echoed this optimism.

He said the favorable economic conditions will continue to drive consumption growth.

Go noted that the approved increase in wages and the cooling inflation will particularly drive retail sales.

Go, who is spokesperson of the Philippine Retailers Association in Cebu, expects a higher economic growth in 2020, after the gross domestic product growth last year slowed to 5.9 percent. Increased infrastructure spending, he said, will help spur growth.

“Overall, I predict a continued robust economy,” he said. “Banks are giving more loans and private investment in construction continues to increase. This is a boost,” Go said. (CSL)