PHILIPPINE ECONOMICS: BOP SURPLUS, INVESTMENT-HEALTHY


Erle Frayne  Argonza y Delago

 

The Philippine macro-economic fundamentals remain alright, bright and positive.  So says the official report from the central bank. I myself opine in the affirmative regarding RP’s economic health.

 

The Philippines has been hit lately by inflationary waves in rice and petrol. These alone were sufficient to slow down growth a bit. But the factors behind these problems in grains and oil go beyond the domestic, they’re global and have to do more with the manipulations of financial speculators in the overseas markets. As a result, the overall inflation rate moved up.

 

The exact figures released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas are: US $499 million for the month of April (08), and a total of $2.13 billion for the first four months of the year. Hefty sums! Not bad!

 

The fiscal situation is the one that is now being threatened by the volatilities in the rice and oil prices, or should we say spot markets overseas. The news about rice price being subsidized should the crisis worsen is surely a bad one, as it will crash down the ‘balanced budget’ target supposedly achievable at the end of the year.

 

Yet even that seemingly shaky fiscal situation isn’t sufficient a force to dampen the overall macro-economic health. The BOP surplus indicates the positive compass of the economy for the rest of the year, rendering this country a lucrative haven for investments from both domestic and overseas investors.

 

So, fellows out there, the Philippines is much in tune with the Asian growth trend amid the latest rounds of inflation and the problems in oil and grains. The prophets of gloom & doom better find something else to do, such as to bash the corrupt oligarchs, as the economy is within the right compass of growth.

 

[19 May 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila]

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