Two noted economists drew a packed crowd at the amphitheater of the Ateneo Professional Schools Rockwell campus in Makati City on April 13, 2016 to talk about the country’s economic climate.
Philippine Progress: Economic Briefing and Moving Forward 2016 featured Dr. Cielito Habito and Mr. Jonathan Ravelas. Both gave upbeat assessments on the country’s economy.
Habito gave his assessment using his” PiTiK (Presyo- Trabaho- Kita) Test. In terms of prices, inflation rate, he said, is low - averaging 1.4% in 2015. Employment rate is also down to 5.7%. The country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 6.3% in the last quarter of 2015 is among the fastest in ASEAN and globally, Habito said.
Habito also examined the economic drivers and dampeners of 2016.The following, he noted, would strengthen the country’s fiscal condition: infrastructure and manufacturing projects, lower fuel prices, remittance growth, ASEAN Economic Community investments, and ASEAN cruise tourism. Election–related spending, Habito added, would also influence the country’s growth. On the other hand, the following may stifle the Philippines’ development, Habito said: El Niño growth, threats in the global economy, inferior infrastructure, Mindanao conflict, decline in gaming tourism, and trade and investment diversion as a result of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.
The second speaker, Ravelas, analyzed where the markets are headed. The Philippines, he said, is Asia’s sunniest economy —with stable consumer spending, service industry revenues, and OFW remittance flows. Ravelas also agreed with Habito’s observation that election spending would help boost the country’s economy. In terms of industries’ performances, food, retail, and construction/real estate would continue to propel the country’s growth, Ravelas said. He also mentioned bright spots in tourism, gaming, manufacturing, and mining.
Philippine Progress: Economic Briefing and Moving Forward 2016 was organized by the Ateneo Graduate School of Business Center for Continuing Education.