Philippines achieves 7.6% economic growth in 2022

The Philippines’ recovery from the downturn of the COVID-19 crisis continued strongly as it has been confirmed that the national economy expanded by 7.6% for the entire year of 2022 which includes a 7.2% 4th quarter economic growth, according to a news article by the Philippine News Agency (PNA). Take note that the Philippines is expected to grow between 6.5% and 7% in 2023 according to the national authorities while there are signs that the United States economy will fall into a recession this year. Regardless, the Philippines ended 2022 competitively in terms of economic expansion among its Asian neighbors.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the PNA news report. Some parts in boldface…

The Philippine economy expanded by 7.2 percent in the last quarter of 2022, bringing full-year growth to 7.6 percent, driven by increased economic activity mainly from pent-up demand as it fully reopened amid elevated inflation rate.

National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said among the major emerging economies in the region that have released their fourth-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth, the Philippines grew the fastest, followed by Vietnam at 5.9 percent and China at 2.9 percent.   

Our improved Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) risk management and the easing of mobility restrictions have created a positive economic outlook, boosting economic activity and creating more jobs despite external headwinds,” he said in a briefing on Thursday. 

Balisacan said measures being implemented by the government to further buoy the economy’s recovery are working.

Our strong economic growth performance for 2022 proves that our calibrated policies and strategies have helped put us on the path to recovery and on track to achieving our aspiration for an inclusive, prosperous, and resilient society by 2028,” he said.

Balisacan said pent-up demand drove growth in the fourth quarter as the economy was fully reopened during the period, with household consumption accounting for around three-fourths of domestic output, and investments contributing around a fifth.

The improvements in labor market conditions, increased tourism, revenge and holiday spending, and resumption of face-to-face classes supported growth in the quarter, further reflecting a solid rebound in consumer and investor confidence in the economy,” he said.

Balisacan said had it not been for the elevated inflation rate, which rose to its highest since November 2008 last December when it accelerated to 8.1 percent, “growth could have been higher by another perhaps 1 to 2 percentage points.”

“It shows how overall demand is sensitive to inflation,” he added.

In terms of the volume of economic activities, Balisacan said domestic growth has recovered for many sectors, except for others such as tourism.

“(But) in so far as per capital income… we haven’t fully recovered yet,” he said.

Balisacan said the government is firm on ensuring that quality jobs will be available to Filipinos to lessen their need to work abroad.

“Inclusive growth across the archipelago will be our vehicle for reducing poverty incidence from 18 percent of the population in 2021 to a single-digit level by 2028,” he said.

National Statistician Dennis Mapa said 2022 full year GDP growth of 7.6 percent exceeded the government’s 6.5 to 7.5 percent growth assumption for the year and the highest after the 8.8 percent in 1976.

Mapa said the fourth-quarter growth, slower than the 7.6 percent in the previous quarter, was driven by the wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles, financial and insurance activities and retail estate and ownership of dwellings boosted domestic growth.

He said domestic demand remained strong, with the household final consumption expenditure (HFCE) rising by 2.1 percent quarter-on-quarter, led by the restaurants and hotels, food and non-alcoholic beverages, and miscellaneous goods and services. Year-on-year expansion of HFCE stood at 7 percent.

Among the major economic industries, Mapa said agriculture, forestry, and fishing contracted by 1.7 percent because of the lower output of sugarcane, palay (rice), and poultry and egg production.

Meanwhile, Balisacan said the government is doing pro-active assessment of the current situation to address the elevated inflation rate in the country, which is expected to go back to within the government’s 2 to 4 percent target band by the second half of this year.

He said the government continues to allow the importation of several food items to boost domestic supply, adding that not doing so will hurt both the consumers and domestic growth.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this new development? Do you believe that the economy of the Philippine economy will grow between 6.5% to 7% this year? Do you think that more foreign tourists coming into the country will be able to help the nation achieve its economic growth targets this year? Apart from what was already mentioned, what do you think the national government should do to combat inflation? Do you think that the lower income tax for middle income earners will make a positive contribution to economic growth?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. If you want to support my website, please consider making a donation. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/.

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

Philippines Finance Secretary Diokno says the national economy is resilient enough to face post-pandemic world

Recently in a high-level economic meeting in Germany, Philippines Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno declared that the national economy is resilient enough for the post-pandemic world and that the national government has been making adjustments, according to a news article published by the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the PNA news report. Some parts in boldface…

Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno on Monday told foreign investors and business leaders that the Philippine economy is resilient enough and that the government is doing its best to address post-pandemic challenges.

Diokno made the remarks during the Philippine economic briefing attended by the economic managers in Frankfurt, Germany that was streamed through various government agency Facebook pages.

The Finance chief noted that inflation is also a concern in the Philippines just like in other countries, but measures are being undertaken by the government to address the issue, such as managing prices by ensuring adequate supplies of agricultural products, and boosting the agriculture sector’s capacity and productivity to help address the rising commodity prices, among others.

“We also are continuing the importation of necessary commodities to ease inflation,” he said.

The government has allowed the continued importation of rice, sugar, and meat, which are among the primary factor for the elevated food prices due to supply issues.

Relatively, Diokno assured investors that the government has put in place a fiscal consolidation program to address the uptick in government liabilities, due in part to the increased borrowing to finance pandemic-related programs.

He identified three factors that will support the government’s fiscal consolidation and one of this is the fact that “only a small fraction of our outstanding debt is exposed to interest rate resetting.”

This, as bulk of the government liabilities are sourced from domestic fund sources, with around 75 percent of the borrowing program allocated to the domestic market.

“We already have anticipated the tightening monetary policy conditions when we formulated the interest rate payments in the 2023 budget,” Diokno said.

He added that “government securities market is dominated by local players that are bank-centric and homogeneous in investment governance.”

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this new development? Do you believe that the economy of the Philippines is resilient enough for the post-pandemic age even as there are concerns about high inflation and economic slowdown around the world? Do you believe that the national government has what it takes to make key adjustments to unforeseen developments that could happen anytime? Are you convinced that foreign investors as well as foreign tourists will come into the Philippines in great numbers over the next eighteen months? How is your local government doing when it comes to economic developments like livelihood, jobs training and other related activities?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. If you want to support my website, please consider making a donation. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/.

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

Last tranche of salary increase for Muntinlupa City government employees announced

In the progressive City of Muntinlupa, Mayor Ruffy Biazon announced the last tranche of salary increases for City Government employees, according to a Manila Bulletin news report. The raise of the salaries is in accordance to law and it will take effect very soon.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the Manila Bulletin news report. Some parts in boldface…

Muntinlupa Mayor Ruffy Biazon announced on Jan. 23 that city government employees will get their salary increases by the end of the month.

This is based on Republic Act 11466 or the Salary Standardization Law of 2019.

The fourth and last tranche of the salary increases for qualified government employees took effect on Jan. 1, according to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM). The first tranche of the salary increase took effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

“Good news para po sa kawani ng pamahalaan. Pagdating po ng katapusan ng buwang ito ay pai-implement na ang fourth tranche ng Salary Standardization Law (Good newas for employees of the government. By the end of this month, the fourth tranche of the Salary Standardization Law will be implemented),” said Biazon during the flag raising ceremony at the Muntinlupa City hall on Jan. 23.

Under RA 11466, the monthly salary of a government employee under Salary Grade 1 will increase to P13,000 (under Step 1 level) in the fourth tranche compared to P11,551 in the first tranche.

The government recognizes the indispensable role of its dedicated personnel in serving our beloved country. We are firmly committed to help them amidst rising prices of goods and services. We hope this latest salary increase will cushion the impact of inflation,” said Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman.

According to DBM, RA 11466 covers all positions for civilian personnel, whether regular, casual, or contractual in nature, appointive or elective, full-time or part-time, now existing or created in the executive, legislative, and judicial branches; constitutional commissions and other constitutional offices; state universities and colleges (SUCs); and government-owned or controlled corporations (GOCCs) not covered by RA 10149.

The law also applies to all positions for salaried LGU personnel, whether regular, contractual or casual in nature, elective or appointive; on full-time or part-time basis, now existing or thereafter created in LGUs, and all positions for barangay personnel which are paid monthly honoraria, the DBM added.

Excluded under the law are those engaged without employer-employee relationship and funded from non-Personnel Services (PS) appropriations/budgets.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are a Muntinlupa City resident, what is your reaction to this development? As a local resident, do you think the salary hike for City Government employees is justified?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

HSBC sees Philippine economy growth of 4.4% for 2023 due to key factors

HSBC, one of the biggest players of the global financial industry, recently made its forecast of the Philippines growing economically at 4.4% for the year 2023, according to a news article by the Philippine News Agency (PNA). There are certain factors mentioned in HSBC’s assessment for the nation.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the PNA article. Some parts in boldface…

Hikes in the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) key policy rates are expected to dampen the strong domestic output for 2023, with an executive of HSBC forecasting a 4.4 percent expansion this year.

In a virtual briefing on Thursday, HSBC chief investment officer for Southeast Asia, Global Private Banking and Wealth, James Cheo, said private consumption contributed to the strong recovery of the domestic economy last year but this is seen to be limited by the monetary tightening aimed to temper the elevated inflation rate.

Other factors that boosted gross domestic product (GDP) last year include investments, higher government spending on infrastructure and increased mobility following the resumption of face-to-face schooling, he said.

Looking into 2023, the country’s growth will slow and the recovery is going to be more gradual as the reopening boost fades and monetary tightening weighs on domestic demand,” Cheo said.

As of the third quarter of last year, growth, as measured by gross domestic product (GDP), rose by 7.76 percent, exceeding the government’s 6.5 to 7.5 percent growth assumption for this year.

The BSP’s key rates have been hiked by 350 basis points from May to December last year, after being at record-low of 2 percent in 2020, as monetary authorities help address the elevated inflation rate.

Last December, domestic rate of price increases further accelerated to 8.1 percent, the highest since November 2008, due to faster annual jumps in goods and energy prices.

Cheo said “household’s consumption in 2023 will likely be curtailed” given the elevated inflation rate.

Strong employment, tourism recovery, expanding production and retail sales, and public investment will continue to support growth in 2023,” he said.

With inflation expected to remain high, Cheo projects the BSP to make three consecutive 25 basis point increases this year, “pausing at 6.25 percent by Q2 (second quarter) 2023” and keeping this decision until at least the second half of 2024.

The above article ended with HSBC predicting that the Philippine Peso will weaken to the United States Dollar at a rate of US$1 = P56.50.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this recent development? Do you believe that inflation and interest rates will somehow slow down the ongoing economic growth later this year? Do you think that Philippine tourism will become a factor to help the Philippine economy grow at least 5% this year? What do you think the national government and its economic managers should do to maintain strong growth as the nation keeps on recovering from the depression of the COVID-19 crisis? Have you been managing your personal or business finances carefully recently?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

The new normal for bread from the local bakeries?

Have you been paying more for pandesal at your local bakery? In my experience, I love the pandesal of Mang Pandesal located along Tropical Avenue, BF International in Las Piñas City.  When I first visited them in 2019, they sold pieces of pandesal at P2 each. That is no longer the case anymore. Two days ago, I visited Mang Pandesal ang bought 20 pieces of pandesal at P2.50 each. That’s a total of P50.

Do the math, P2.50 is a notable increase of 25% over the previous price of P2 per pandesal which lasted for years at Mang Pandesal. While I still will buy pandesal from Mang Pandesal (note: they’re still the best in the BF Homes community), I am more conscious about how many pieces to buy each time I visit them.

Even as our country continues to struggle to recover from the COVID-19 crisis socially and economically, we have no choice but to face the new normal of bread from the local bakeries…a new normal of higher prices and/or smaller sizes of bread. There are both internal and external economic forces that have been affecting the many local bakeries around the Philippines. High fuel prices are just the tip of the iceberg, literally.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from a recent Manila Bulletin article. Some parts in boldface…

Expect local bread to get smaller but become more expensive at the same time.

Albay 2nd district Rep. Joey Salceda made this rather depressing prediction as wheat, eggs, and sugar–all vital ingredients to breadmaking–have all shot up in price.

Salceda even has a clever word for it: “shrinkflation”.

“Bread will probably be the hardest hit by shrinkflation. Wheat prices have increased by 165 percent. At that point, breadmakers will probably both increase prices and shrink sizes,” the economist-solon said in a statement Sunday night, July 17.

Last March, Salceda warned of higher bread prices amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict, which affected the trade of wheat.

Egg prices are also threatening to go out of control. Sugar supply is already problematic, noted the Bicolano.

“What we are likely to see us shrinkflation. Goods getting smaller instead of higher prices,” he noted.

Salceda said that while the government continues to try to control price hikes and resolve supply issues, manufacturers and millers can “fortify their products with vitamins and minerals”.

“Nutrition should be part of Science for Change, which is the DOST’s (Department of Science and Technology) flagship program. This should be one of the most relevant and immediate applications.

“Secretary [Fortunato] dela Pena also asked millers and breadmakers to consider other alternatives and additives to maintain nutritional value without increasing prices or reducing sizes significantly…So, in the meantime, while we solve the structural issues affecting price and supply, we can adapt,” the lawmaker said.

Pieces of pandesal.

Meanwhile, the Malaya Business Insight recently published an article about the struggle of community bakers. Posted below is an excerpt of their article with some parts in boldface…

Community bakers have lost 20 percent of their members due to the twin effects of the pandemic and rising raw material prices.

Princess Lunar, director of the Asosasyon ng Panaderong Pilipino, told the Balitaan sa Maynila yesterday, the fair price of pandesal should be P4 per piece to maintain its quality but bakers continue to sell at P2 to P2.50  but the size has considerably shrank to 18 grams.

Lunar said at P4, pandesal size can be restored to 30 g.

While pandesal is not a regulated commodity, community bakers cannot increase their prices because of competition among themselves as well as with commercial and industrial bakers which have economies of scale.

She said the group plans to come up with variants of pandesal at a much  bigger size  enhanced with more nutritious ingredients from agricultural crops like potato, cassava and other starches. The group plans to sell this at P8 to P10 per piece.

The value-added product can help elevate the stature of the pandesal which Lunar has termed as the “pambansang tinapay.”

She appealed to government to assist the group in conducting trainings to improve further the quality of their breads especially pandesal and ensure its sustainability.

Lunar said prior to the pandemic, about 40 percent of the flour requirements for bread go to community bakers. This has since shrank to 19 percent.

Lunar said from P785 per bag, the price of flour has gone up to P1,000. Since January when the Russia-Ukraine crisis started, the price of flour has gone up by P100 to P150 per bag.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Have you been paying more for pandesal at your local bakery? Does each pandesal piece look smaller in terms of size and content in relation to what you paid for? Are you willing to pay P4 per piece of pandesal? Are there any bakeries in your local community that shut down recently? Apart from pandesal, what other types of bread do you buy from your local community bakery?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others as well as making a donation to support my publishing.. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673