Thursday March 23 2017
Philippines Leaves Monetary Policy Unchanged
Bangko Sentral NG Pilipinas | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

The central bank of Philippines left its benchmark overnight borrowing rate steady at 3 percent on March 23rd, 2017 as widely expected, saying inflation is expected to remain within the target of 3.0 percent ± 1 percentage point in 2017-2018. However, policymakers slightly lowered inflation forecasts for this year to 3.4 percent from 3.5 percent. In February, consumer prices went up 3.3 percent year-on-year, the highest since November of 2014.

Statement by the Bangko Sentral NG Pilipinas:

The corresponding interest rates on the overnight lending and deposit facilities were also kept steady. The reserve requirement ratios were likewise left unchanged.

The Monetary Board’s decision is based on its assessment that the outlook for inflation remains manageable, consistent with favorable growth prospects. While the average headline inflation for the first two months of 2017 has risen due to the recent increases in food and oil prices as well as base effects, latest baseline forecasts are slightly lower than previous forecasts and within the target range of 3.0 percent ± 1 percentage point for 2017-2018. Inflation expectations also remain anchored to the inflation target over the policy horizon.

The Monetary Board also observed that the balance of risks surrounding the inflation outlook remains tilted toward the upside, given the transitory impact of the proposed tax reform program as well as possible adjustments in transportation fares and electricity rates. Meanwhile, lingering uncertainty over the prospects of the global economy, due in part to possible shifts in macroeconomic policies in advanced economies, continues to pose a key downside risk to the inflation outlook. The Monetary Board also noted the beneficial effects on inflation of the removal of quantitative restrictions on rice importation. The Board emphasized that domestic economic activity is projected to stay firm, supported by buoyant household consumption and private investment, increased government spending, and ample credit and liquidity.

With these considerations, the Monetary Board believes that prevailing monetary policy settings remain appropriate. Looking ahead, the BSP will continue to monitor evolving economic conditions to ensure price and financial stability conducive to sustainable economic growth.




Friday March 10 2017
Philippines Trade Gap Narrows In January
PSA l Chusnul Ch Manan | chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

Philippines posted a USD 2.31 billion trade deficit in January of 2017, compared to a USD 2.64 billion gap a year earlier, as exports rose more than imports.

Year-on-year sales increased by 22.5 percent to USD 5.13 billion in January of 2017, following an upwardly revised 6.3 percent rise in December 2016  and marking the fastest rise in three yearsOutbound shipments rose for: articles of apparel and clothing accessories (270.1 percent), coconut oil (229.6 percent), chemicals (104.7 percent), metal components (66.3 percent), electronic equipment and parts (64.8 percent), other manufactures (58.8 percent), machinery an transports equipment (27.9 percent), and electronic products (10.4 percent). Sales of electronic products, the country's top export revenues, also increased by 10.4 percent. In contrast, exports fell for: woodcrafts and furniture (-24.7 percent) and ignition wiring set and other wiring sets used in vehicles, aircrafts and ships (-5.0 percent).
 
Exports to Hong Kong increased by 20.7 percent, followed by those China (23.6 percent, the US (21.2 percent), Singapore (16.8 percent), the ASEAN countries (19.3 percent) and the EU countries (82.5 percent). In contrast, sales to Japan, the country's top export destination decreased by 6.6 percent
 
Imports rose  9.1 percent year-on-year to USD 7.44 billion in January of 2017, compared to a downwardly revised.13.8 percent rise in December and reaching the slowest rise since October 2016. Purchases went up for: transport equipment iron and steel (79.7 percent), mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials (42.7 percent), cereals and cereal preparations (30.6 percent), miscellaneous manufactured articles (28.6 percent), telecommunication equipment and electrical machinery (24.0 percent), plastics in primary and non-primary forms (23.3 percent), other food and live animals (13.4 percent), and industrial machineray and equipment (11.1 percent). In contrast, imports shrank for electronic products (-16.2 percent) and transport equipment (-9.5 percent).

Purchases from China, the country’s biggest source of imports, went up 26.4 percent, followed by Japan (10.8 percent), South Korea (19.7 percent), the ASEAN countries (16.2 percent) and the EU countries (-27.2 percent). In contrast imports fell from the US (-6.9 percent).

In December 2016, trade deficit came in at USD 2.16 billion.
 
 
 
 
 




Tuesday March 07 2017
Philippines Inflation Rate At 27-Month High Of 3.3%
PSA l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Consumer prices in Philippines rose 3.3 percent year-on-year in February of 2017, following a 2.7 percent increase in January and in line with markets expectations. It was the highest inflation rate since November 2014, as prices went up at a faster pace for food, housing and utilities and transport.

In February, upward price pressures came from: alcoholic beverages and tobacco (6.0 percent from 5.6 percent in the prior month), clothing and footwear (2.8 percent from 2.8 percent), housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (2.9 percent from 1.8 percent), furnishing households equipment and routine maintenance (2.3 percent from 2.3 percent), health (2.6 percent from 2.6 percent), transport (2.8 percent from 2.4 percent), communication (0.2 percent from 0.1 percent), recreation and culture (1.8 percent from 1.9 percent), education (1.8 percent from 1.8 percent) and restaurants and miscellaneous goods and services (2.1 percent from 2.2 percent). Prices of heavily-weighted food and non-alcoholic also beverages went up 4.1 percent, compared to a 3.4 percent rise in January. 

Core inflation rate rose 2.7 percent year-on-year, compared to a 2.5 percent rise in the prior month and slightly above consensus of a 2.6 percent gain. It was the highest figure since November 2014.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices went up 0.3 percent, the same pace as in the prior two months. Prices rose for: food and non-alcoholic beverages (0.1 percent); alcoholic beverages and tobacco (1.0 percent); clothing and footwear (0.1 percent); housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (1.2 percent); furnishing, households equipment and routine maintenance (0.1 percent); health (0.3 percent); communication (0.1 percent), recreation and culture (0.1 percent) and restaurant and miscelleneous goods and services (0.1. percent). In contrast, cost of transport fell 0.5 percent while cost of education remained unchanged.




Friday February 10 2017
Philippines Trade Gap Widens In December
PSA l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Philippines posted a trade deficit of USD 2.57 billion in December of 2016, compared to a USD 1.59 billion gap a year earlier, as imports rose much more than exports.

Year-on-year, sales increased by 4.5 percent to USD 4.87 billion, following a 7.5 percent drop in November. Outbound shipments rose the most for coconut oil (146.5 percent), followed by other mineral products (104.5 percent), metal components (66.4 percent), chemicals (42.1 percent) and other manufactures (35.8 percent). In contrast, exports fell for: ignition wiring set and other wiring sets used in vehicles, aircrafts and ships (-37.8 percent), woodcrafts and furniture (19.2 percent), machinery and transport equipment (-12.9 percent) and articles of apparel and clothing accessories (-4.2 percent). Sales of electronic products, the country's top export revenues, also dropped by 2.8 percent.

Exports to Japan, the country's top export destination increased by 2.8 percent, followed by those to Hong Kong (5.3 percent) and China (36.6 percent. In contrast, sales declined to the US (-6.7 percent), Singapore (-7.1 percent), the ASEAN countries (-5.0 percent) and the EU countries (-8.0 percent).

Imports jumped 19.1 percent to USD 7.43 billion, compared to a 19.7 percent rise in the prior month. Purchases rose for most categories : transport equipment iron and steel (74.6 percent), power generating and specialized machinery (56.2 percent), telecommunication equipment and electrical machinery (37.2 percent), industrial machinery and equipment (36.8 percent), plastics in primary and non-primary forms (35.0 percent), iron and steel (19.2 percent), electronic products (18.9 percent) and miscellaneous manufactured articles (18.7 percent). In contrast, imports shrank for mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials (-18.7 percent) and other food and live animals (-1.8 percent). Purchases from China, the country’s biggest source of imports, went up 9.7 percent, followed by Japan (47.5 percent), the US (28.1 percent), Thailand (10.3 percent), South Korea (22.6 percent), the ASEAN countries (17.7 percent) and the EU countries (31.6 percent). 

In November 2016, trade deficit also came in at USD 2.57 billion.

From January to December 2016, exports shrank 4.4 percent from the same period a year earlier to USD 56.23 billion while imports went up 14.2 percent to USD 81.16 billion. That brought the trade deficit during the period to USD 24.93 billion.


Thursday February 09 2017
Philippines Holds Key Interest Rate At 3%
Bangko Sentral NG Pilipinas | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

The Philippine central bank held its benchmark overnight borrowing rate at 3 percent on February 9th, 2017, as widely expected, saying inflation is expected to remain within its comfort zone for some time. Although annual inflation rate hit a two-year high of 2.7 percent in January, it remained within the central bank's 2-4 percent comfort range. Meanwhile, the central bank raised its inflation forecast for 2017 to 3.5 percent from 3.3 percent, and for 2018 to 3.1 percent from 3 percent.

Statement by the Bangko Sentral NG Pilipinas:

The Monetary Board’s decision is based on its assessment of inflation dynamics and the risks to the inflation outlook over the policy horizon. While inflation has risen due to the recent increases in food and oil prices, latest baseline forecasts continue to indicate that the future inflation path will remain within the target range of 3.0 percent ± 1 percentage point for 2017-2018. Inflation expectations are also aligned with the inflation target over the policy horizon.

The Monetary Board further noted that the balance of risks surrounding the inflation outlook continues to be weighted toward the upside, given possible adjustments in electricity rates as well as the initial impact of the government’s broad fiscal reform program. Meanwhile, uncertainty over global growth prospects continues to pose a key downside risk to the inflation outlook. The Monetary Board stressed that while the global economic environment has become more challenging due to expected shifts in macroeconomic policies in advanced economies, including the ongoing normalization of monetary policy in the US, domestic economic activity is expected to stay firm, supported by buoyant household consumption and private investment, increased fiscal spending, and ample credit and liquidity.

With these considerations, the Monetary Board believes that prevailing monetary policy settings remain appropriate. Going forward, the BSP will continue to monitor and assess evolving economic developments and will calibrate its policy tools as appropriate to ensure sustained price and financial stability.


Tuesday February 07 2017
Philippines Inflation Rate At 25-Month High Of 2.7%
PSA | Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Consumer prices in Philippines rose 2.7 percent year-on-year in January of 2017, following a 2.6 percent increase in December. It is the highest inflation rate since December 2014 as cost rose faster for housing, utilities and transport.

In January, upward price pressures came from most components, including clothing and footwear (2.8 percent from 2.5 percent in the previous month), housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (1.8 percent from 1.3 percent), furnishing households equipment and routine maintenance (2.3 percent from 2.4 percent), health (2.6 percent from 2.3 percent), transport (2.4 percent from 1.9 percent), recreation and culture (1.9 percent from 1.7 percent) and restaurants and miscellaneous goods and services (2.2 percent from 2.1 percent). Prices of heavily-weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages increased by 3.4 percent, compared to a 3.6 percent rise in December. Inflation was steady for communication (0.1 percent) and education (1.8 percent).

Core inflation rate stood at 2.5 percent year-on-year, the same as in the prior month. The figure remained the highest since March 2015.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices went up 0.3 percent, also the same rate as in December. Prices rose for: food and non-alcoholic beverages (+0.5 percent); alcoholic beverages and tobacco (+0.4 percent); clothing and footwear (+0.4 percent); housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (+0.2 percent); furnishing, households equipment and routine maintenance (+0.2 percent); health (+0.4 percent); recreation and culture (+0.2 percent) and restaurant and miscelleneous goods and services (+0.1. percent). In contrast, cost of transport fell 0.4 percent while cost of education remained unchanged.


Thursday January 26 2017
Philippines Economy Expands 1.7% QoQ in Q4
PSA l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

The Philippines GDP expanded 1.7 percent quarter-on-quarter in the three months to December 2016, compared to an upwardly revised 1.5 percent growth in the September quarter and slightly above markets estimates of a 1.6 percent growth. The services sector grew at a faster pace while the industry sector slowed and the agriculture contracted.

In the fourth quarter, the services sector rose 2.0 percent, up significantly from a 0.9 percent rise in the September quarter. The industry sector advananced 2.0 percent, slower than a 2.0  percent expansion in the previous three months. In contrast, the agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing shrank 1.1 percent, after growing 2.3 percent rise in the third quarter. It was the first decline since the March quarter 2016.

Year-on-year, the economy grew an annual 6.6 percent, following a downwardly revised 7.0 percent expansion in the previous two quarters but slightly above market consensus of a 6.5 percent growth. It was the weakest expansion since the December quarter 2015.


For full 2016, the economy grew by 6.8 percent, faster than a 5.9 percent expansion in 2015.




Thursday January 26 2017
Philippines GDP Growth Slowest In A Year in Q4
PSA l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

The Philippines economy grew an annual 6.6 percent in the December quarter of 2016, following a downwardly revised 7.0 percent expansion in the previous two quarters but slightly above market consensus of a 6.5 percent growth. It was the weakest expansion since the fourth quarter 2015, as private consumption and investment slowed while government spending and exports rose further.

In the three months to December, household consumption expanded 6.3 percent year-on-year, compared to a 7.1 percent increase in the second quarter. Government expenditure advanced 4.0 percent, faster than a 3.1 percent growth in the September quarter, as some programs under the new administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, who began a six-year term at the end of June 2016, were already completed.

Gross domestic capital formation increased by 15.0 percent, slowing from a 18.6 percent growth in the previous quarter but marking the seven straight quarters of double-digit growth. Investment in construction grew by 9.5 percent, followed by durable equipment (3.7 percent), breeding stocks & orchard development:(3.7 percent) and intellectual property products (28.7 percent).

Exports increased by 10.4 percent, faster than a 8.8 percent rise in the third quarter. While sales of goods rose 9.6 percent (from 7.8 percent in the third quarter), those of  services went up 13.6 percent (from +14.2 percent). Imports increased by 15.0 percent, following a 13.6 percent in the preceding quarter.

On the production side, the services sector advanced 7.4 6.9 percent, compared to a 6.8 percent growth in the three months to September quarter and accounted for 46.7 percent of the total economy. Growth in the sector was supported by public administration & defense; compulsory social security (12.1 percent), real estate (9.0 percent), trade and repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles, personal and household goods (6.9 percent), other services (6.5 percent), transport, storage & communication (6.3 percent) and financial intermediation (6.0 percent). The industry sector expanded 7.6 percent, following a 8.4 percent growth in the preceding quarter. Construction recorded the highest increase (11.0 percent), followed by electricity, gas and water supply (8.9 percent) and manufacturing (6.9 percent). In contrast, mining & quarrying shrank by 0.5 percent, following a 2.6 percent fall in the September quarter.  Agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing declined by 1.1 percent, following a 2.9 percent growth in the previous period. 

For full 2016, the economy grew by 6.8 percent, faster than a 5.9 percent expansion in 2015.

For 2017, the economy is expected to advance between 6.5 to 7.5 percent.

On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted basis, the GDP advanced 1.7 percent in the fourth quarter 2016, compared to an upwardly revised 1.5 percent growth in the September quarter while market estimated a 1.6 percent growth.




Tuesday January 10 2017
Philippines Trade Gap Widens to 10-Month High
Statistics of Phillippines l Chusnul Ch Manan| chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

Philippines reported a trade deficit of USD 2.57 billion in November of 2016, compared to a USD 0.98 billion gap a year earlier. It was the largest trade gap since January, as exports fell while imports rose.

In November, sales decreased 7.5 percent from a year ago to USD 4.73 billion following a 3.7 percent rise in October. It was the first drop in three months, as sales declined for: woodcrafts and furniture (-28.9 percent), machinery and transport equipment (-25.4 percent), chemicals (-26.2 percent), ignition wiring set and other wiring sets used in vehicles, aircrafts and ships (-25.6 percent), machinery and transport equipment (-25.4 percent), articles of apparel and clothing accessories (-7.6 percent), and metal components (-2.0 percent). Sales of electronic products, the country's top export revenues, also fell 7.9 percent. In contrast, sales rose for: coconut oil (+44 percent), other mineral products (+39 percent), and other manufactures (+3 percent).  Outbound shipments fell to the US (-13.5 percent), Singapore (-8.6 percent) and the ASEAN countries (-1.3 percent). Those to Japan, the country's top export destination also dropped by 21.8 percent. In contrast, sales went up to China (+5.2 percent) and Hong Kong (+4.7 percent).

Imports jumped 19.7 percent to USD 7.30 billion in November of 2016, compared to a 5.9 percent rise in the preceding month. It was the fastest growth in six months, as purchases rose for most categories : iron and steel (+100 pecent), transport equipment (+76.3 percent), industrial machinery and equipment (+52.2 percent),  miscellaneous manufactured articles (+51.6 percent), plastics in primary and non-primary forms (+50.3 percent), telecommunication equipment and electrical machinery (+32.3 percent), and other food and live animal (+27.3 percent). In contrast, imports of electronic products fell 7 percent. Purchases increased from: China (+20.3 percent), Japan (+15.1 percent), Thailand (+22.1 percent), the ASEAN countries (+31 percent) and the EU countries (+26.1 percent). In contrast, imports declined from the US (-4.2 percent).

From January to November 2016, exports shrank 5.2 percent from the same period a year earlier to USD 51.36 billion while imports went up 13.7 percent to USD 73.72 billion. That brought the trade deficit during the period to USD 22.36 billion, widening sharply from a USD 10.65 billion gap in the prior year.

In October 2016, trade deficit was recorded at  USD 2.16 billion.
 




Thursday January 05 2017
Philippines Inflation Rate at 2-Year High of 2.6%
Statistics of Philippines l Chusnul Ch Manan | chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

Consumer prices in Philippines rose 2.6 percent year-on-year in December 2016, following a 2.5 percent increase in November. It was the highest inflation rate since December 2014, mainly driven by a faster increase in prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages and transport while inflation was steady for housing.

Cost rose at a faster pace for: food and non-alcoholic beverages (+3.6 percent from +3.3 percent in November), transport (+1.9 percent  from +0.5 percent), and recreation and culture (+1.7 percent from +1.6 percent). Price increased at a slower pace for: alcoholic beverages and tobacco (+6.3 percent from +6.5 percent), clothing and footwear (+2.5  percent from +2.6 percent), furnishing households equipment and routine maintenance (+2.4 percent); and health (+2.5 percent from +2.6). Cost was steady for: housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (+1.3 percent); communication (+0.1 percent); education (+1.8 percent), and restaurant and miscellaneous goods and services (+2.1 percent). 
 
Core consumer prices went up 2.5 percent from a year earlier, slightly up from a 2.4 percent rise in the prior month. It was the highest figure since March 2015.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices rose 0.3 percent, slowing from a 0.6 percent gain in November. Prices rose for: food and non-alcoholic beverages (+0.2 percent); alcoholic beverages and tobacco (+0.6 percent); clothing and footwear (+0.1 percent); housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (+0.3 percent); furnishing, households equipment and routine maintenance (+0.1 percent); health (+0.1 percent); transport (+2.3 percent); recreation and culture (+0.2 percent), education (0 percent), and restaurant and miscelleneous goods and services (+0.2 percent).
 
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