Tuesday, February 17, 2009

(No) Recession in the Philippines - II

My previous post says: No Recession in the Philippines. I said in that post that maybe the recession will come next month or next next month. Or not at all.

So I scanned the news, and here's what I (choose) get:


Deutsche Bank is seeing net inflows
into its Asian mutual funds, a sign that investors are becoming more optimistic about Asia’s prospects after staying away for much of the fourth quarter of 2008.

The improvement in investor sentiment appeared to be across-the-board, with fund distributors in Singapore reporting a slight pick-up in fund sales for January, said the bank’s head of retail distribution for Singapore, Hui-jian Koh.


Impact of reduced remittances, if there would be any, would be known in a few months.


Business Processing Association of the Philippines, saying that outsourcing will create 100,000 more new jobs this year in the Philippines. Revenues for this industry hit $6.5 billion in 2008, with a 2009 expected growth rate of 20 percent. That would put revenues to the Philippines to nearly $8 billion, about one-half of total overseas remittances. And I think the estimates are wrong. I think the industry is going to grow at closer to 30 percent this year and that revenues are going to be closer to $9 billion.


Seventy percent of companies in the Philippines are currently hiring at the managerial or professional level, Antal International said, citing results of its poll entitled “Global Snapshot."

Companies planning to hire managers are expected to rise to 76 percent, compared to the 10 percent which intend to cut its staff, and the three percent which are currently laying off workers.

“So far the employment market in the Philippines appears to be relatively robust with current levels of hiring at professional and managerial level at a high 70 percent and expected to rise to 76 percent over the coming quarter. Firing levels are currently low although organizations expect them to rise slightly during the early part of 2009," Antal said.


Nearly 2000 companies operating inside Philippine economic zones have hired more employees last year, the government said.

The employment rate in the zones even went up by 2.5 percent in 2008, the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) said in a statement.


Philippine inflation fell to 7.1 percent in January, the lowest level in 10 months, on lower food and fuel prices. The central bank, anticipating the decline, had cut its key interest rates twice over the past two months to loosen credit and stimulate economic activity.


Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) officials ruled out the possibility that remittances would decline this year but admitted that inflows would not increase for the first time since the country started deploying workers abroad.


In my assessment, the situation is not bad at all. I think there will be surprises in store for the country this year.

Let's wait and see.