The PSEi - PSE Composite Index & The Economy
10-3's worst stock exchange pala Piliipnas Big Grin according to First Metro

World’s worst stock mart still not cheap enough to buy

AS the Philippine Stock Exchange Index (PSEi) dipped below 7,100 during Tuesday’s session, taking its valuation to its lowest level since January 2016, Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. is among the firms that’s staying on the sidelines.

John L. Padilla, the head of equities at the money manager, says he’s too concerned about the high inflation level, rising oil prices, weakening peso, increasing interest rates and drying up liquidity.

“Everybody is bracing and positioning for a higher inflation, and with oil continuing its climb there isn’t anything to say that’s enticing to go bargain hunting at this point,” said Mr. Padilla, who helps manage P450 billion ($8.3 billion).

“It used to be that a buy-on-weakness strategy works, but now for prudence it’s better to step aside and let the market take its course.”

The PSE has plunged 17% since the end of December, becoming the world’s biggest losing equity market and taking its valuation to 15 times estimated earnings for the next year, below its five-year average.

The gauge fell as much as 0.5% to 7,095.26 on Wednesday.

The recent sell-off from emerging markets and US-China trade frictions only added to worries over the nation’s headwinds.

Overseas investors have withdrawn almost $1.6 billion in 2018, exceeding inflows from the past four years.

Mr. Padilla said it’s not improbable for the Philippine stock gauge to fall below 7,000 in the near term and that it could go as low as 6,600. He said his firm will change its underweight call on the equities should consumer prices, the peso, interest rates and liquidity show improvements. September inflation data are due on Friday.

You can get a better return with your cash in time deposit now rather than exposing it to equities, where at best you get a flat return but run the risk of losing part of your money if you buy the wrong name,” Mr. Padilla said.

The country’s shares will face more challenges before things get better, according to Michael Gerard D. Enriquez, the chief investment officer of Sun Life of Canada Philippines, Inc. The PSEi could stay at around 7,100 this year, with earnings growth of 5.5% compared with 10-12% consensus, he said. To put that into perspective, the key stock gauge closed at almost 8,559 at the end of last year.

Steven Kent Ko, who helps manage P60 billion at Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., sees further risk as limited. While the benchmark index may drop to 6,900, he says there’s also a chance it could climb to 8,000 this year as sentiment improves. He expects inflation to peak and says the peso may have already seen its sharpest depreciation this year.

“We are still holding on to our cash, but we are selectively buying some of the oversold names that are already worth looking into,” Mr. Ko said.

He favors property stocks because he sees higher earnings-growth prospects and likes banks as he deems them unduly hit by the rout. 



...ayan WB naman nagcall ng attention sa Pinas

WB flags growth slowdown

THE WORLD BANK has downgraded its 2018 economic growth forecast for the Philippines — making it the third multilateral lender to do so since last week due to heightened external uncertainties and surging inflation locally — but overall prospects should remain “strong” enough for it to maintain the country’s projections for 2019-2020.

In its bi-annual Philippines Economic Update published yesterday, the Washington-based multilateral lender said it expects Philippine gross domestic product (GDP) to grow 6.5% this year, down from a 6.7% April projection and 2017’s actual 6.7%. At the same time, the World Bank kept its 2019 and 2020 forecasts at 6.7% and 6.6%, respectively.

“The Philippines’ medium-term growth outlook remains strong, supported by an expected rise in public investment spending and a robust private demand,” the report read, noting that consumption is supported by a “steady” labor market, continuous remittance inflows and “inflation easing,” following Palace administrative orders to boost food supply and speed up distribution.

World Bank Senior Economist Rong Qian, in a media briefing on Thursday at the bank’s Philippine office in Taguig City, said that the latest projection took into account the slower-than-expected six-percent growth in the second quarter that compared to 6.6% in the same period last year and last January-March, due to weak exports and weak farm performance.

The same report shows the World Bank expects growth to accelerate this semester and into next year despite high inflation, as election-related spending kicks in. “GDP growth is expected to accelerate in the second half of 2018 and in early 2019, boosted by upcoming senatorial and local preelection spending and continued strong public investment growth. This is consistent with the government’s plan to speed up the implementation of its infrastructure program. Investment spending is expected to accelerate import growth, while export growth is expected to remain moderate given the slowdown in global trade,” it said.

The World Bank’s estimates are below the government’s 7-8% annual target until 2022.

The World Bank’ forecasts match the International Monetary Fund’s 6.5% and 6.7% for 2018 and 2019, respectively. The Asian Development Bank has a slightly lower estimate of 6.4% for this year, but has the same 2019 projection of 6.7%.

The Philippines’ 6.5%, 6.7% and 6.6% updated forecasts for 2018, 2019 and 2020 are outdone or matched for the same years only by Vietnam (6.8%, 6.6% and 6.5%, respectively) and the less developed Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar. “Developing ASEAN” — which excludes Singapore and Brunei — is expected to grow by 5.4% this year and 5.3% in the succeeding two years, while “developing” East Asia and the Pacific — which includes China — is projected to expand by 6.3% this year and by six percent in each of the succeeding two years. China itself will grow by 6.5% this year and 6.2% in 2019 and in 2020.

Other international institutions have yet to update their forecasts. The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific as of May expected the Philippines to grow 6.8% and 6.9% this year and in 2019, respectively, while the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development as of July projected 6.7% for both years.

Ms. Qian also noted that the “inflation is high but private consumption remains robust. That shows how the Philippines is pretty resilient to inflation.”

For Birgit Hansl, World Bank Lead Economist for Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand, “high inflation suppresses consumption growth, but what we see in the second half you will have pre-election spending, so that will balance it out.”

Headline inflation averaged 4.8% in the first eight months, well above the 2-4% target band for 2018 after the Augusts’s 6.4% that was the fastest in about nine years.

Ms. Qian cited key downside risks to the outlook as faster policy rates hikes by the Federal Reserve and worsening trade tensions between United and China.

Such developments will trigger bigger capital outflows, in turn widening the country’s current account deficit and putting more pressure on the peso — already among the worst-performing emerging market currencies — to weaken further.

Although Ms. Qian said that the Philippines has enough buffers, the government should “monitor it (current account deficit) closely to prevent it from widening too much and too fast.”

“Philippines’ macro fundamentals are strong given the country’s flexible exchange rate regime, large international reserves, low public debt, low external debt and robust inflow of remittances. In addition, the Philippines is relatively resilient to capital flows as the country has low exposure to portfolio flows from foreign investors,” Ms. Qian said.

“Yet, given the increased global uncertainties, to mitigate downside risks, it would be prudent to monitor the evolution of the current account deficit.”

At the same time, she noted that the current account shortfall “could be considered a good deficit because it finances capital goods imports to help close the country’s long-due infrastructure gap, and that currently FDI (foreign direct investment) is financing the current account deficit.”



....inflation hits 6.7%...hindi pa ginawang 7% para magkagulo-gulo na tayo Big Grin hehehe

Inflation soars to new 9-year high of 6.7% in September

October 5, 2018 - 9:12am
MANILA, Philippines — The country's headline inflation further quickened to 6.7 percent in September, the Philippine Statistics Authority announced Friday.

The September inflation was higher than the 6.4 percent in August, a new nine-year high.

This is slightly lower than the Bangko Sentral's 6.8 percent forecast and higher than the 6.4 percent forecast of the Department of Finance.

Food and non-alcoholic beverages; housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels; and transport are the top contributors to the overall inflation, the PSA said.

PSA also said inflation in the National Capital Region was slower at 6.3 percent in September, and higher outside the capital at 6.7 percent. The highest inflation in the regions was 10.1 percent in Bicol and lowest in Central Luzon at 4.5 percent.

Inflation for housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels moved slower in September, it also said.


...puro negative news...sweet spot no more si Philippines

‘Higher oil prices to result in lower Philippine growth’

MANILA, Philippines — DBS Bank Ltd. of Singapore said the Philippines’ economic growth would ease further while inflation would continue to soar in 2019, if the price of oil hits $100 per barrel as the US ratchets up sanctions on Iran.

In its economics and weekly strategy titled “How will Asia cope with $100 oil,” DBS economist for the Philippines and Indonesia Masyita Crystallin said the Philippines’ gross domestic product (GDP) would expand by only six percent instead of 6.7 percent next year.

She said the peso would also depreciate to a new record low of 60 to $1 instead of 56.5 to $1 next year under the $100 per barrel price of oil scenario.

She added this would translate to a wider current account deficit of three percent of GDP instead of 1.4 percent per GDP as importers would have to shell out more greenbacks to pay for oil shipments.

According to Crystallin, oil imports have a big impact on trade as it account for more than 10 percent of total imports.

In the first seven months of the year, there was an additional $14 billion of imports that were mostly due to oil price increases.

Furthermore, Crystallin warned remittances from overseas Filipinos continue to weaken.

“Widening trade deficit and possibly weaker consumption due to lower purchasing power, will adversely impact growth. Under this scenario, GDP growth in 2019 will only reach six percent compared to 6.7 percent in our baseline,” she said.

The economist said inflation could average 5.9 instead of 5.5 percent next year as an oil price scenario of $100 could boost inflation by 0.4 percentage point.

This, she said, would prompt the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to raise interest rates by 75 basis points instead of only 50 basis points next year.

 “Given that the Philippines economy is currently overheating, BSP will likely raise rates further by at least another 75 basis points to contain inflation in our baseline scenario. If oil goes to $100, there could be another 50-basis point upside to the policy cycle,” Crystallin said.

Under its baseline scenario, DBS expects the country’s GDP to expand 6.7 percent this year and next year. On the other hand, it sees inflation averaging six percent this year and 5.5 percent next year.

The country’s GDP growth eased to its slowest pace of six percent in the second quarter from 6.6 percent in the first quarter, bringing the first half average to 6.3 percent.

On the other hand, inflation leapt to 6.7 percent in September from 6.4 percent in August due to higher oil and food prices, weak peso, and the impact of the implementation of Republic Act 10963 or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.

This brought the average to five percent in the first nine months of the year, exceeding the BSP’s two to four percent target.

The BSP’s Monetary Board has so far raised interest rates by 150 basis points since May to curb rising inflation and keep inflationary expectations well anchored.

Based on its latest assessment, the central bank now expects inflation to average 5.2 instead of 4.9 percent this year and 4.3 instead of 3.7 percent next year.



...mabuti naman sinuspend, puro negative news na lang lumalabas sa mga balita kasi

Oil tax hike suspension looms

MALACAÑANG and Congress have agreed on the need to suspend an oil tax hike set in January, a move one senior Finance official said is justified given current world crude price forecasts.

The development comes as headline inflation has lately been hitting multiyear peaks — largely on surging world crude prices — averaging five percent in the nine months to September against the central bank’s 2-4% target range for full-year 2018.

Next year will also be marked by mid-term elections in May.

Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher T. Go said on Sunday that President Rodrigo R. Duterte and his Cabinet have discussed this issue, while majority of senators submitted an Oct. 9 letter to Mr. Duterte seeking such a move even before the “trigger period” set by Republic Act No. 10963 or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act (TRAIN) that took effect last January.

“The President and the Executive department is now looking into the temporary suspension of the next increase of oil excise tax rates in 2019… This is scheduled to be imposed by January of next year as mandated by the TRAIN Law,” Mr. Go said in a speech on Sunday morning at the opening of the Department of Agriculture’s TienDA Malasakit Food Outlet in Taguig City.

That law increased fuel excise taxes by P2.5 per liter this year, and is scheduled to raise the levy by P2 and P1.5 per liter in 2019 and 2020, respectively, totaling a P6 excise tax hike.

The law suspends the hike automatically should average crude oil price, based on Dubai, reach $80 per barrel (/bbl) in these last three months. Price of Dubai crude — used as a benchmark for Asia — rose 43% to $77.02/bbl in September from $53.86/bbl a year ago and by 6.78% from August’s $72.23/bbl. Prices averaged $82.278/bbl in the 10 trading days to Oct. 12, 50.69% more than the $54.602/bbl in last year’s comparable period.

“But to arrest the rising price of oil and its effects on the inflation rate, we will defer implementing it until the right time,” Mr. Go said in his speech, even as he clarified in a statement later in the afternoon “pero ikonsidera rin natin kung ano ang nasa TRAIN law (we will consider what is provided by TRAIN).”

Sought for clarification, Finance Assistant Secretary and Spokesperson Antonio Joselito G. Lambino II said in a Viber message that “[a]s announced by SAP Bong Go, the President is making an early announcement of the temporary suspension of the January 2019 oil excise increase under the TRAIN Law”.

“Today’s price and multiple estimates of crude prices over the next two months show that the average price will stay above the $80 threshold, and it is therefore being announced early that the suspension mechanism will be activated,” Mr. Lambino explained.

“This announcement is being made two months before the time required by law, to proactively anchor inflation expectations and enhance the welfare of the Filipino people,” he added.

“After consulting the leadership of both the Senate and the House of Representatives, as well as the economic team, the President is confident that this course of action will help anchor inflation expectations for the coming year, allow the public to manage finances better, and disallow hoarders and profiteers from taking advantage of the situation.”

The Senate majority has sought Mr. Duterte’s support for Congress’ plans to suspend the scheduled increase in fuel excise tax come January.

“We, the undersigned senators who are supportive of your reform efforts, respectfully solicit your support in a move of both Houses of Congress to suspend any further increases in excise taxes on diesel, gasoline and other petroleum products for 2019 and 2020 as mandated by R.A. 10963, or the ‘Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion’ Law,” the senators said in their Oct. 9 letter to the President.

The letter was signed by Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel F. Zubiri, Senator Joseph Victor G. Ejercito on Sunday, Senate President Pro tempore Ralph G. Recto, as well as Senators Loren B. Legarda, Juan Edgardo M. Angara, Nancy S. Binay-Angeles, Francis G. Escudero, Sherwin T. Gatchalian, Richard J. Gordon, Gregorio B. Honasan II, Panfilo M. Lacson, Emmanuel D. Pacquiao, Aquilino L. Pimentel III, Grace S. Poe-Llamanzares, Joel J. Villanueva and Cynthia A. Villar.

“This was discussed with the President during our Monday meeting with him. SOF (Secretary of Finance Carlos G.) Dominguez (III) just asked us to formalize it with a letter as the President will consider the suspension of excise tax on fuel when he gets back from Bali. That letter was signed by all the members of the Majority,” Mr. Zubiri told reporters in a mobile phone message.

“That is the reason PRRD (President Rodrigo R. Duterte) decided to suspend excise tax,” Mr. Sotto told reporters in a mobile phone message, for his part.

The Senate in the letter expressed grave concern over the prediction of the oil traders of S&P Global Platts Asia Pacific Petroleum Conference in Singapore, as cited by the Department of Energy’s oil monitor report, that crude oil prices could increase to over $100/bbl in 2019.

They asked Messrs. Duterte and Dominguez to support their initiatives to suspend any further increases on fuel excise tax “before the TRAIN Law’s ‘trigger period.’”

“Hence, considering that the high crude oil prices are projected to continue increasing, we respectfully request your Excellency and DoF Secretary Carlos Dominguez III to support our initiatives to suspend any further increases in excise taxes on diesel, gasoline and other petroleum products before the TRAIN Law’s ‘trigger period,’” they said.

The senators said the suspension of fuel excise tax hike “would help lift the heavy burden” that Filipinos have been experiencing amid the rising prices of basic goods and services. 



...hindi pa pala highest yung 6.7%?!! naknang

Inflation has yet to peak, BSP official says

MANILA, Philippines — Inflation is not yet done accelerating, and consumers can expect a faster rise in consumer prices this month even as there are already signs of a coming slowdown, an official of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said on Tuesday.

"Year-on-year, it (inflation) could increase next month... There’s a good chance that it would be higher next month," said Felipe Medalla, member of the central bank's Monetary Board.

"(But) we expect month-on-month (inflation) to start normalizing already," he added.

The BSP's seven-member Monetary Board is its policymaking body for monetary policy to control inflation. Medalla sits on the board chaired by BSP Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr.

His statements on Tuesday came after the government reduced its economic growth target for the year to 6.5-6.9 percent from the original 7-8 percent due to fast-rising consumer prices.

During the board's meeting, economic managers also revised upwards its forecast for inflation this year to 5.2 percent from 4.8 percent and for 2019, from 3 to 4 percent.

In the first three quarters of the year, inflation averaged 5 percent, falling way above the BSP's 2-4 percent goal. For September alone, inflation reached a near decade-high of 6.7 percent, which BSP said early this month was already the peak.

Rising fuel prices could push inflation further
Medalla, however, said rising global oil prices could push inflation up further this month when compared to year-ago levels. Tight rice supplies could also prove inflationary.

"But almost definitely, we will see a deceleration month-on-month and over the long-term, this could mean we can expect inflation to slow down from there," he explained.

Government typically highlights price changes from same period last year. It does, however, include seasonally-adjusted and monthly inflation metrics that measure price changes on a monthly basis.

Medalla said these monthly metrics are showing "slowing" inflation last September, which could continue this month and soon be reflected on year-on-year data. 

The month-on-month changes would also be the BSP's basis on whether it needs to raise interest rates more to temper inflation. 

The central bank has already adjusted benchmark rates by a cumulative 150 basis points this year. High interest rates discourage consumers from borrowing, which in turn, reduces money being lent for consumption and investments, thereby reducing demand and prices.

"If there are signs that inflation is abating month-on-month, we may take a pause," Medalla said.



....kaya pala naglalaglagan mga magrkets globally

Dow erases gains for the year, tumbles more than 600 points as stocks extend October swoon

Stocks plummeted on Wednesday as a sharp drop in tech shares and worries about corporate earnings added fuel to this month's steep pullback.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 608.01 points at 24,583.42 and erased all of its gains for 2018. The S&P 500 dropped 3.1 percent to 2,656.10 and also turned negative for the year. The Nasdaq Composite fell 4.4 percent to 7,108.40— entering correction territory — as Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Alphabet all traded lower.

"An increasingly murky macro picture is clouding the 2019 earnings outlook leaving investors to largely shrug off a solid start to the third quarter earnings season," said Alec Young, managing director of global markets research at FTSE Russell. "While valuations have certainly come down in recent weeks, at 16 times forward earnings for the Russell 1000 index, they aren't in the bargain basement by any means, especially if earnings growth slows more than expected next year."

Stocks have taken a beating this month. The Dow has dropped 7.1 percent in October, while the S&P 500 has pulled back 8.9 percent. The Nasdaq, meanwhile, has tumbled 11.7 percent.

Netflix tumbled 9.4 percent as investors second-guessed valuations for the once high-flying video streamer. Facebook and Alphabet both fell more than 5 percent, while Apple dropped 3.4 percent. AT&T, meanwhile, dropped more than 8.1 percent after releasing its quarterly results.

Worries about a slowing economy under pressure from rising interest rates grew after the Commerce Department said new home sales fell to a two-year low. The data also hit homebuilder stocks.The SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (XHB) dropped 3.5 percent.

"The housing numbers were not good," said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade. "There's a lot of uncertainty heading into the end of the year. It just feels like people feel more comfortable spending short-term rather than long term."

Bank shares fell on fears of slowing growth for mortgage and other loans. The SPDR S&P Bank ETF (KBE) dropped 4.1 percent. Shares of J.P. Morgan Chase and Citigroup both pulled back more than 1.5 percent. Bank of America's stock dropped 3.1 percent.

Investors have been grappling with increasing market volatility of late. The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX), widely regarded as the best gauge of fear in the market, traded above 24 on Wednesday and is up more than 100 percent this month.

Several factors have conspired to knock markets this month — some earnings disappointment, a brewing conflict between Italy and the European Union over budget spending, criticism of oil power Saudi Arabia over the killing of a dissident journalist and finally, worries that world growth is losing steam.

"Since early February through late September, US stocks were on a tear, while stocks overseas were mostly stumbling," said Ed Yardeni, president and chief investment strategist at Yardeni Research. "So far this month, the US has coupled with the bearish sentiment overseas."

"Valuation multiples have dropped sharply this month, making stocks attractive," he said in a note. This is more of a panic attack "rather than the beginning of a bear market; we believe that the bull market will continue into next year. The next relief rally should be triggered by continued signs of economic growth combined with subdued inflation."

Earlier in the session, the Dow rose more than 100 points on the back of better-than-expected results from Boeing. The aerospace giant also raised its full-year guidance on earnings and sales. The report sent the stock up more than 1 percent.

The results come as investors slog through the busiest week of the earnings season. More than 100 S&P 500 companies are scheduled to report this week, including Amazon, Alphabet and NBCUniversal-parent Comcast. So far, 80 percent of the companies that have reported have topped earnings expectations, according to data from FactSet.


10-25 build build! Tongue

Government spending for infrastructure, other capital outlays surged in August

THE government stepped up spending for infrastructure and other capital outlays in August, as expenditures jumped by 70.5 percent to P68.4 billion, from some P40.1 billion last year, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said on Tuesday.

Figures from the DBM showed that the increase in spending in August brought the eight-month expenditures for infrastructure and other capital outlays to P505.6 billion, nearly 50 percent higher than last year’s P337 billion.

According to the DBM, the increase was due to the various projects implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), including road widening, repair and construction, flood control and drainage improvement.

The modernization program of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has also contributed to the surge in spending for the procurement of military communication equipment, the DBM said.

In August, expenditures for personnel services surged by 32.2 percent, or P17.7 billion, due to the requirements for creation and filing of positions at the Department of Education (DepEd); higher pay for both civilian, military and uniformed personnel, and the retirement and terminal leave benefits in various agencies, specifically the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the AFP.

Maintenance and other operating expenditures also expanded by P3.5 billion, or 11.9 percent, to P33.1 billion as a result of the DepEd’s K to 12 program and net lending to the National Food Authority in support of its rice importation program.

For the month of August, a total of P53 billion in allotments has already been released. This includes P5.9 billion in personnel services deficiency for the pension and terminal leave benefits in the PNP; P3.7 billion in subsidy to government corporations; P2.9 billion in pension and retirement and gratuity benefits in other agencies; P2.3 billion for the Marawi Rehabilitation and Recovery Program; and P2.2 billion for the expansion of the Philippine Rural Development Project of the Department of Agriculture.

As of end-August, the DBM said allotment releases reached almost P3.498 trillion, or nearly 93 percent of the program for the year.

“We owe it to the Filipino people that implementing agencies immediately utilize the public funds that have been released to ensure the effective delivery of public services within the fiscal year.

This is in accordance with annual cash-based budgeting that Congress should pass into law for future administrations to adhere to,” Budget Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said in a statement.

In the last quarter of the year, the DBM said 7.1 percent of the P3.767- trillion obligation program, or P269.1 billion, has yet to be released. This amount is largely composed of P124.3 billion in agency-specific budget and P140.4 billion in Special Purpose Funds (SPFs).

Some of the big-ticket program balances under the regular budget of agencies include the remaining requirements for creation and filling of positions at the DepEd and the Educational Facilities Fund for implementation by the DPWH.

In addition, unreleased allotments from the SPFs comprise mostly of program balances from the subsidy to government corporations, the miscellaneous personnel benefits fund and the pension gratuity fund.

“The allotment releases for these remaining balances are being closely evaluated by the budget department to maximize the use of available funds and to ensure whether these can still be obligated and delivered within the year,” Diokno said.



...list of non-trading days for November...Nov 1 (All Saints), 2 (Special Holiday) and 30 (Bonifacio Day)


...talaga lang ha? pag yan hindi nangyari....hmp Tongue

Q3 GDP likely grew faster than 6% — report

ECONOMIC GROWTH likely picked up last quarter from the preceding three months’ disappointing six percent, analysts of First Metro Investment Corp. (FMIC) and the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) said in their latest joint assessment, even as they still slashed their full-year 2018 projection.

The analysts now see full-year growth at 6.5-7%, down from their original forecast of 7-7.5%.

The updated forecast matches state economic managers’ tempered 6.5-6.9% full-year 2018 outlook that compares to an original 7-8% target. The Cabinet officials said they needed to be more realistic given tighter credit conditions, the impact of a trade war between the United States and China, as well as surging global oil prices.

The Philippines’ gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 6.3% last semester, compared to 6.6% a year ago.

It grew by 6.7% in 2017, with the third quarter alone posting 7.2% — the fastest clip that year.

The Philippine Statistics Authority is scheduled to report September factory output and October inflation data on Nov. 6, September merchandise trade and third-quarter farm output data on Nov. 7, and third-quarter GDP performance on Nov. 8.

The central bank’s Monetary Board then meets for its seventh and penultimate policy review for the year the succeeding week on Nov. 15.

“The outlooks from the demand side — investments and exports — still look positive while slowing manufacturing and commodity prices rising at a faster pace cloud this view,” the economists said in the October issue of The Market Call published on Tuesday.

“Nonetheless, GDP should still handily grow by more than six percent in Q3,” they added.

“Capital goods imports soared by 39% in July, while National Government spending added fuel to growth with a 29% uptick, likely driven by infrastructure and capital outlays. Exports had their third consecutive month of growth, albeit still at a mild pace,” the report read, noting that “red-hot investment spending” likely helped prod overall economic expansion.

This, in turn, should help make up for tepid factory output growth and tempered consumer spending at a time of elevated inflation.

Prices of widely used goods climbed by 6.2% in the third quarter. Other bank analysts have said that this likely curtailed household consumption as they reeled from rising prices of food and fuel.

At the same time, FMIC and UA&P economists said they expect inflation to be on a downtrend in 2018’s last three months, with October, November and December rates at 6.4%, 6.1% and 6.2%, respectively.

On the monetary policy front, economists are seeing another rate hike from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas amounting to 25 basis points this quarter. This is to cover for higher bus and jeepney fares next month, even as the rise of prices of rice, food and oil is expected to ease. 



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