Erle Frayne D. Argonza
The yearend Holidays are now nearing, and so we all better cheer up for the forthcoming holiday season. As early as November, Christmas trees and gigantic lanterns were already set up in malls and public places in the Philippines, a very thoughtful way of demonstrating love and generosity.
There is much reason for the global economy to cheer up for 2011 as indicated by our own very optimistic business environment and national economy here in the Philippines. Our region ASEAN is mightily growing at robust rates, India and Korea are doing good, and China is very heatedly growing.
As already discussed by various analysts and writers, ASEAN + China + India + South Korea—dubbed as ‘Asian economy’—have been the growth drivers of the global economy as a whole. High growth rates, well managed liquidities, healthy macro-economic fundamentals, and high foreign exchange reserves all converge as multi-factor drivers of growth in Asia. As a result, consumption is still moving up here, thus compounding the growth toward sustained heights all the more.
The Philippines has its own good news to share to the globe. A ‘Santa Claus’ list of glad tidings shows the following:
Philippine currency is the 2nd best in Asia. Strong and trustable, even treasuries and bonds denominated in Peso are selling like hot potatoes.
Foreign Exchange Reserves are at an all-time high of $56+ Billion (end of October), enough to buy almost a year of merchandise imports.
Growth rate as of the 1st two (2) quarters was at a whopping 7.9%, showing mightily good production levels. Yearend growth rate would be no less than 6.5% at the minimum, a figure that will be sustained well through 2011 and beyond.
Local bourse has hit a high-time figure of 4,200+ points recently. This is way above the psychological breakpoint of 2,000 points (that now looks very Jurassic), and will optimistically breach 5,000 points by 2011.
Overall GDP per capita (nominal) will breach $2,000 and will move up rapidly to the next levels over the next few years. Purchasing power parity or PPP per capita will exceed $10,000 around 2013-‘14.
State wages have been moving up by 15% per annum consistently for couples of years now. This move drives up private sector wages as well. Wages will again move up in strides from 2011 to 2016.
Inflation has been reduced down further, and will stay comfortably at the 2.5%-3.5% range by 2011. This is welcome news for a nation that is so fed up with hyper-inflations in the ‘80s and ‘90s.
Unemployment has been going down steadily, and will be at a manageable level of 8% or lower by 2011. Rising growth rate can then be sufficient to address the other problem of underemployment.
Exports and imports, or foreign trade, have returned to pre-global recession levels, thus contributing to more employment and higher wages.
Filipino businessmen’s investments overseas have moved up, and will continue to expand in 2011 and beyond. These contribute to overseas remittances and employment of Filipino labor and experts abroad.
The list is longer than the above-stated, though suffice us to take note of that short list. Those items are fundamental to sustaining the economic machine year by year, reduce poverty till the middle class dominates the population, and shoot up human development to notches higher than today’s indices.
Japan, USA and EU are on economic fires but the dampening situations there won’t totally hurt the global economy. Emerging markets have done their best to insulate themselves against the fiascos and fires of the northern economies, thus enabling them to serve as the hope of the world.
The cheery environment of Asia should better be the one focused upon by our global citizens, a cheer that serves as the ‘Santa Claus grin’ of the global economy as a whole for this year and the ones forthcoming.
[Philippines, 06 December 2010]
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