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The PSEi - PSE Composite Index & The Economy
03-08-2017, 03:32 AM
Post: #2401
RE: The PSEi - PSE Composite Index & The Economy
Inflation spikes to 3.3% in February
By Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) | Updated March 8, 2017 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Consumer prices grew at their fastest pace in more than two years in February, but still within the range the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas had expected.

The Philippine Statistics Agency (PSA) reported yesterday that annual inflation stood at 3.3 percent in February, faster than the 2.7 percent reading in January.

BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said the consumer price index tipped the three percent level due to higher annual increases in the prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages.

This was the highest since inflation averaged 3.7 percent in November 2014. The BSP has set an inflation target of between two and four percent from 2017 to 2020. The consumer price index averaged three percent in the first two months of the year.

“This puts the average for the first two months of the year right in the middle of the government’s target range, and confirms our expectations that the monthly path of inflation will move up, and that the average for the year will be within target,” he said.

The BSP expected the February inflation to range from 3.1 percent to 3.9 percent due to rising pump prices of petroleum products, fare hikes, and more expensive power rates.

Government economists have been expecting an uptick in consumer prices after rising to 1.8 percent last year from 1.4 percent in 2015.

“The risks to inflation that we see on the external side include increase in the price of oil and the depreciation of peso,” said Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernersto Pernia.

Another risk is the effect of the memorandum issued by the National Food Authority (NFA) that allowed the entry of rice imports under the minimum access volume program from October 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017.

“This will tighten the rice supply, which translates to higher food prices,” Pernia said.

However, the BSP said there is no immediate need to tweak the country’s policy stance amid the sharp rise in consumer prices.

“As the uptick is in line with forecast, there appears to be no immediate impetus to adjust the stance of monetary policy, but we will remain data dependent in our assessment and forthcoming decisions,” Tetangco said.

Tetangco said the BSP will continue to monitor both external and local developments as the US Federal Reserve is likely to raise interest rates by another 25 basis points during the meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) on March 14 and 15 as well as the passage of the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program (CTRP).

The second rate-setting meeting for the year of the Monetary Board is scheduled on March 23.

“The BSP is closely monitoring areas of possible price pressures, including petitions for utility and fare rate adjustments, the impact of the Malampaya shut down, the near-term impact of the CTRP, as well market reactions to the Fed and its assessment of the US economy,” Tetangco said.

Downside risks, the BSP chief said, remain the sluggish global economic growth.

“On the downside, we are looking at the growth in the rest of the global economy, which continues to be tentative,” he said.

Higher annual rate were posted in the heavily-weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages; alcoholic beverages and tobacco; housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels; transport; and communication.

Inflation for food alone climbed to 4.3 percent in February from 4.6 percent in January. A double-digit annual mark-up of 12.8 percent was monitored in the index of vegetables.

Eugenia Victorino, economist at ANZ Bank, said inflation should wane starting the second quarter as the impact of rising commodity prices and unfavorable base effect wears off.

She pointed out the BSP is expected to raise interest rates by 50 basis points starting the third quarter.
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04-18-2017, 02:11 PM (This post was last modified: 04-18-2017 02:13 PM by Ollie.)
Post: #2402
RE: The PSEi - PSE Composite Index & The Economy
...this is good news winking

Remittances hit $2.17B in February

Cash sent home by Filipinos overseas through banks stayed at the $2-billion level for the 13th straight month in February even as year-on-year growth slowed on seasonality.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas data released yesterday showed that cash remittances reached $2.17 billion last February, the same amount as in January.

The February figure was up 3.4 percent from $2.1 billion a year ago, although year-on-year growth was slower that last year’s 8.4 percent and the previous month’s 8.6 percent.

Monthly cash remittances have remained above $2 billion since February last year.

In a statement, the BSP said more than three-fourths or $1.7 billion of the cash remittances sent home in February came from land-based employees, while the remaining $500 million were from sea-based workers.

The top six contributors to cash remittance growth last February were Japan (up 11.3 percent year-on-year), Qatar (up 53.5 percent), Singapore (up 17.5 percent), Taiwan (up 64.4 percent), the United Arab Emirates (up 23.7 percent) and the United States (up 12.8 percent).

But the BSP said remittances from Canada, China, Hong Kong and Kuwait posted declines in February.

End-February cash remittances amounted to $4.34 billion, 5.9-percent higher than the $4.1 billion during the first two months of last year.

During the first two months, cash remittances from land-based workers rose by 9.1 percent to $3.5 billion, compensating for the decrease by 5 percent to $900 million in sea-based workers’ transfers, the BSP said.

Nearly four-fifths of the cash remittances that reached the Philippines during the two-month period came from Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, the UAE, the United Kingdom and the US.

For 2017, the BSP has projected a 4-percent growth in remittances.

In 2016, cash remittances reached a record $26.9 billion, up 5 percent from $25.61 billion in 2015.

Remittances are the biggest source of foreign exchange income for the country, helping insulate the domestic economy from e xternal shocks by ensuring the steady supply of dollars in the system.


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04-18-2017, 02:27 PM
Post: #2403
RE: The PSEi - PSE Composite Index & The Economy
...another good news for the economy...dapat lahat mag online tax filing na Tongue

BIR collections up 12.2% to P472.9B in Q1

The Bureau of Internal Revenue’s tax take from its operations jumped 12.2 percent to P472.9 billion during the first three months, such that Commissioner Caesar R. Dulay on Monday expressed optimism that the country’s biggest tax collection agency can hit its target for this year.

Dulay told reporters that first-quarter collections jumped from P421.4 billion during the same three-month period last year.

As such, the BIR exceeded its target take from operations for the January to March period of P361.3 billion.

Collections from BIR operations–which include taxes on net income and profits, value-added tax, excise taxes and percentage taxes, among other taxes–account for the bulk or over 90 percent of the agency’s total take.

The agency was also tasked to collect P14.8 billion from non-BIR operations, to bring the total first-quarter target to P376.2 billion. Data on collections from non-BIR operations were not available.

Asked if the BIR can achieve its P1.829-trillion collections goal for 2017, Dulay said they were “hopeful” to do so.

Dulay noted that between April 1 and 9, or ahead of Monday’s deadline to file income tax returns (ITRs), the BIR collected P11.5 billion, up 19.7 percent from the P9.6 billion during the first nine days of April last year.

For the month of April, the BIR had been programmed to collect over P208 billion–P204.7 billion from operations on top of P3.3 billion from non-operations.

Monthly collections peak in April amid the ITR filing deadline.

To achieve this year’s target, which was equivalent to almost four-fifths of the government’s tax revenue program of P2.313 trillion, Dulay had said that the BIR plans to improve taxpayer compliance through the expansion of its compromise settlement program for audit cases of large taxpayers.

Also among the BIR’s priority programs for 2017 aimed at attaining the collection target include continuous implementation of the Run After Tax Evaders (Rate) as well as “Oplan Kandado” programs; comprehensive taxpayer profiling and industry benchmarking; updating of zonal value schedules; broadening of the tax base without increasing the tax rates by registering unregistered taxpayers/businesses as a result of tax compliance verification drives and third-party information; implementation of centralized arrears management in regional offices; as well as adherence to the cross-border agreements on exchange of information, such as the US’s Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (Fatca), Dulay had said.

To improve taxpayer satisfaction, Dulay had said that the BIR will continue to review previous revenue issuances and rulings as well as repeal those that impose unnecessary burden on taxpayers and hinder business transactions.

The BIR will also revisit the criteria for classification of taxpayers according to the business size (large/medium/small/micro); simplify tax forms, expand the coverage of electronic filing facilities to include other non-large taxpayers; provide taxpayers additional options or facilities to pay taxes using credit/debit/prepaid cards and mobile payments; development a tax clearance processing system; and enhance the electronic certificate authorizing registration system, official registry book, tax information system, taxpayer registration system, as well as geographical information systems.

To protect revenues and recapture public trust, the BIR this year will put in place an integrity management program that will facilitate removal of corrupt and erring personnel; revalidate/audit tax assessments; propose legislation removing the agency from the Salary Standardization Law (SSL); fast-track the hiring of 996 new staff; and also use a case monitoring system for outstanding letters of authority to facilitate mandatory observance of the audit period as well as track progress of cases, according to Dulay.


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04-19-2017, 11:58 AM (This post was last modified: 04-19-2017 12:01 PM by Ollie.)
Post: #2404
RE: The PSEi - PSE Composite Index & The Economy
...IMF is just stating what is obvious Smile

IMF sees sustained Philippine growth

THE INTERNATIONAL Monetary Fund (IMF) expects the Philippines to sustain its growth momentum up to at least 2018, banking on increased fiscal spending and a recovery of global demand, as well as a reform agenda seen broadly on track to boost the local economy.

The multilateral lender kept its 6.8% forecast for gross domestic product (GDP) growth this year, and announced an even higher estimate of 6.9% for 2018 in the April edition of the World Economic Outlook report published yesterday.

If realized, these projections will roughly sustain the upwardly revised actual 6.9% expansion recorded in 2016, supported by “strong domestic demand and a recovery in exports,” IMF country representative Shanaka Jayanath Peiris said.

“Public spending is expected to rise as the fiscal deficit target has been increased to three percent of GDP in 2017 and provide a stimulus to economic activity,” Mr. Peiris said in an e-mailed reply to questions, referring to the government’s ambitious spending plans particularly on infrastructure.

The IMF’s estimate compares with the World Bank’s 6.9% projection for GDP growth this year, and is higher than the 6.4% given by the Asian Development Bank.

It also falls within the government’s 6.5-7.5% growth goal for 2017, and will keep the Philippines in the ranks of Asia’s fastest-growing economies.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia sees growth starting this year on firm ground by 6.5-7% in the first quarter. The government will report that data on May 18.

Bank economists have also said that growth will likely remain above six percent this year, citing strong trade data as the year opened.

IMF said the Philippines will likely get a boost from improving global prospects, as it now expects world output to rise faster by 3.5% this year, coming from a 3.1% climb in 2016. Next year, global growth is seen picking up by 3.6%.

Merchandise exports rebounded to a 17.4% growth in the first two months of the year, recovering from a 4.2% decline seen in the comparable year-ago period, based on Philippine Statistics Authority data. This came alongside a sustained rise in imports that averaged 15.8% in the same period, faster than the 5.8% growth seen a year prior.

The IMF sees the country’s current account reversing to a slim deficit over the coming years from a narrow surplus equivalent to 0.2% of GDP in 2016.

At the same time, the country remains armed with ample foreign currency buffers versus shocks.

“The external position of the Philippines will continue to be comfortable with ample international reserves and the lower current account surplus related to higher capital goods imports and investment,” Mr. Peiris said.

Gross international reserves totalled $80.873 billion as of end-March, enough to pay 8.9 months’ worth of import duties which is well above the three-month global standard.

The IMF expects the current account, which measures money flows from goods and services, to log a deficit at 0.1% of GDP this year, widening to 0.3% in 2018.

Despite the strong economic activity, price increases of consumer goods should remain manageable, the IMF said. The multilateral lender expects inflation to settle at 3.6% this year and 3.3% in 2018, well within the central bank’s 2-4% target band although higher than the 1.8% average in 2016.

Global developments are likely to pose minimal risk to the Philippines’ growth story, the IMF added, even as it noted that reforms planned by the Duterte administration remain crucial in fostering resilience.

“Spillovers from lower growth in China or higher global financial volatility should be manageable for the Philippines due to its strong economic fundamentals, ample policy space and limited trade and financial linkages with China. Nonetheless, the Philippines would be affected more strongly should growth for the region slow,” Mr. Peiris added.

The IMF official also pointed out that the United States’ prospective protectionist policies will have an “overall negative impact” on Asian economies.

Reforms planned by the Philippine government -- particularly tax reform -- will be crucial to sustaining the growth momentum and making sure it lifts more Filipinos out of poverty.

“Fiscal policy is correctly focused on more inclusive growth by increasing social and infrastructure expenditure, financed with additional borrowing and higher revenue.”

The IMF has thrown its support behind the tax reform plan, which will be “critical to finance the additional spending” and help keep borrowing costs down.

The first of four packages of the Finance department’s tax reform plan awaits committee-level approval in the House of Representatives, which expects to give both that and plenary fiat next month, when Congress emerges from a six-week break.

Higher funding for education, health and poverty reduction should also help make economic growth become more inclusive, the IMF said.

The end in July of quantitative restrictions on rice imports is also expected to boost agricultural production, alongside the use of farmlands as collateral for bank loans, the global lender said.

Agriculture has historically contributed a tenth to GDP but has accounted for more than a fourth of jobs.

The government targets economic growth to average 7-8% by 2022, slash unemployment rate to 3-5% by then from 5.5% last year and trim poverty rate to 14% from 21.6% in 2015.


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05-08-2017, 11:11 PM
Post: #2405
RE: The PSEi - PSE Composite Index & The Economy
...nice! +7% growth for 2nd Quarter Smile

7% growth likely this Q2 -- Pernia

YOKOHAMA, JAPAN -- The Philippine economy stands a chance to sustain this quarter the seven percent expansion the country’s socioeconomic planning chief has estimated for the first three months, putting a 6.5-7.5% full-year target in sight.

Ernesto M. Pernia, director-general of the National Economic and Development Authority, said in an interview last Friday on the sidelines of the 50th meeting here of the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Board of Governors that he remained optimistic that the first-quarter pace which the government will report on May 18 will hover around the seven percent he has cited since late March.

Asked for a preliminary second-quarter economic growth estimate, Mr. Pernia replied: “Well, it’s likely to be a repeat of the previous quarter -- also around 7%,” even as he remains watchful of risks from “weather disturbance and maybe external factors.”

The first-quarter gross domestic product report will be preceded three days earlier by the release of first-quarter farm output, which accounts for about a fourth of the country’s jobs and a tenth of national production, and which Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol had said in March could have grown around two percent.

Mr. Pernia shared this view, saying on Friday that “agriculture did better than the fourth quarter so it was definitely positive... there was growth” in the first quarter.

That would be a turnaround from the 4.53% and 1.11% contractions recorded in last year’s first and fourth quarters, respectively, due to adverse climate: drought due to El Niño in 2016’s first three months and storms in October-December. It also compares with the 2.5-3.5% yearly average targeted under the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 approved last Feb. 20.

Economists of the ADB and of the ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office said here in separate earlier briefings that any risk that will weigh on Philippine growth prospects will likely be external, particularly a faster-than-expected tightening of financial conditions worldwide in the wake of projected successive interest rate hikes in the United States and rising protectionism there and in other western economies.

Also contributing to the economy’s strength since 2017 began is a recovery of merchandise exports, which increased by 17.4% year on year to $9.973 billion in the first two months against a two percent full-year government projection, signalling a recovery of demand in key markets. Last year saw overseas sales of Philippine goods fall 2.42% to an upwardly revised $57.406 billion from 2015’s $58.827 billion against a three percent growth target for 2016.

Industry has also contributed, Mr. Pernia said, coinciding with the Nikkei Philippines Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index’s relatively “solid” 52.7, 53.6 and 53.8 readings in January, February and March, respectively.

All these factors, Mr. Pernia said, add to boosts from increasing state spending as well as the anchors of services and household spending.


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05-18-2017, 04:01 PM
Post: #2406
RE: The PSEi - PSE Composite Index & The Economy
...6.4% pala hindi kinaya ang 7.0% projection Sad

PHL Q1 GDP eases to 6.4%, below gov't target band

GROSS Domestic Product (GDP) growth eased to 6.4% in the first quarter of 2017, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported this morning.
The preliminary results was slower compared to the 6.6% posted in the preceding quarter and 6.9% in the same quarter last year.

First quarter growth came in below 6.5-7.5% official target and the 6.8% median growth estimate of economists in a BusinessWorld poll.

Growth in household consumption spending eased to 5.7% from 6.2% the fourth quarter of 2016.

Government expenditure was little changed at 0.2% while capital formation rose 7.9%.

On the production side, output from the industry sector grew slowest in eight quarters, at 6.1%.

The service sector expanded 6.8% from 7.2% in the preceding quarter.

Output in agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing sector increased 4.9%, a turnaround from 1.3% contraction last quarter of 2016.


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05-19-2017, 08:25 AM
Post: #2407
RE: The PSEi - PSE Composite Index & The Economy
...well it's final, no matter how disappointing

Growth dismays, worst since 2015

THE ECONOMY grew by a softer-than-expected 6.4% in the January to March period, its worst performance in over a year, as personal consumption and government spending weakened without the boost from last year’s elections.
Preliminary data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that growth in economic output -- as measured by gross domestic product (GDP) -- slowed from the 6.6% posted in the preceding quarter and from 6.9% logged during the same period last year. The first quarter GDP print matches the 6.4% logged in the third quarter of 2015, according to PSA data.

The GDP reading was below the 6.8% median estimate in a BusinessWorld poll of economists. Separate surveys by Reuters and Bloomberg had earlier put the median estimate at 6.8% and 6.7%, respectively.

With the result falling below even the most pessimistic forecast, Philippine stocks lost 0.88% to end yesterday’s session at 7,757.69, while the peso depreciated by four-and-a-half centavos to close at P49.805 against the dollar.

The government had earlier pencilled in a 7% growth estimate for the first three months, a forecast underpinned by encouraging trade and factory output data as well as a rebound in farm production.

“This can be explained by the base effects: that is, growth last year was high due to election spending, as you would already know by now, the impact of which has already dissipated,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia told a press briefing on Thursday.

“The changing of the guard of the government and reorientation of programs really take time to settle, and this slowed government spending for the quarter,” he added.

The GDP data was also by far the poorest reading since President Rodrigo R. Duterte emerged victorious in last year’s presidential elections. His administration has pledged to spend as much as P8.4 trillion in infrastructure until 2022 to further boost GDP growth, but government expenditures -- which make up almost a tenth of economic activity -- eased to 0.2% in the first quarter from 4.5% in the quarter before.

“It turned out that base effects were more of a factor with the dissipation of the election spending impact including lesser government expenditures for the first quarter,” said Ruben Carlo O. Asuncion, chief economist at Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank).

Growth was hit on the spending side, with household consumption and investments -- not just public spending -- all slowing down.

Personal consumption, which accounted for nearly 60% of the economy, rose at a slower 5.7% clip in the January to March period from 6.2% in the fourth quarter and from 7.1% a year ago.

Investments rose 7.9%, moderating from year-ago’s 31.5% and past quarter’s 14.7%.

“We were already expecting a GDP growth moderation and we attribute this to the following factors: high base effect for government expenditures since first quarter of last year was an election period, resulting in an anaemic government spending growth; higher inflation, which dampens household spending; and less positive business confidence, which eases capital formation growth,” Security Bank Corp. economist Angelo B. Taningco said.

“A somewhat disappointing number out of 1Q, especially on the consumption end, with private consumption growth below 6% and the mere 0.2% print in government consumption,” said DBS economist Gundy Cahyadi.

“Inventory build-up has slowed down. While some excess capacity exists in the economy, a normalization in investments has been forthcoming.”

Mr. Cahyadi added that investment growth had been averaging nearly 20% in the last two years, faster than it had been the ten years prior.

Nomura said yesterday in a research note: “The main source of disappointment for us was private consumption which eased to 5.7% from 6.2% despite resilience of remittances and stronger agriculture output.”

“Consistent with slower investment spending, construction activity also eased along with the services sector, led by transport, storage and communications and real estate,” it added.

On the production side, the services sector expanded by 6.8%. Transport, storage and communications, and real estate respectively posted growth of 4.9% and 6.9%.

Growth in the industry sector, which made up a third of the economy, eased to a two-year low of 6.1%. Its manufacturing subgroup picked up pace to 7.5% from 7% in the previous quarter.

Construction slowed to 8.2% from the low double digits in the past five quarters. Output from mining and quarrying declined 20% in the first quarter, coinciding with the time that then Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Regina Paz “Gina” L. Lopez ordered the closure of half of the country’s mines.

Agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing rebounded, logging a 4.9% expansion in the first quarter from the previous quarter’s 1.3% fall.

“The Philippines remains one of the strongest performers among the major emerging economies in Asia,” Mr. Pernia said.

“For the first quarter, we overtook Vietnam and Indonesia which grew by only 5.1%, and Thailand by only 3.3%. We are only second to China’s growth of 6.9% while India’s number hasn’t come out yet.”

In a separate statement, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said growth was still on-track to hit the government target range of 6.5-7.5% for this year.

“GDP expansion in the year’s first three months illustrates that growth remains steady and could gain momentum for the rest of the year,” said Mr. Dominguez adding this was supported by the administration’s ‘Dutertenomics’ strategy, whose objectives include stimulating economic activity through an “aggressive expenditure program on infrastructure, human capital formation and social protection”.

“Given the government’s aggressive fiscal plan this year, it remains to be seen if spending may accelerate going forward, which will be definitely a big boost to GDP growth momentum,” said DBS’ Mr. Cahyadi.


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