Country Analysts

Romeo Bernardo
Former Deputy Finance Minister
Christine Tang
Former Economist, Central Bank

In The News


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Recent Country Insights

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Coming soon: monetary easing 2
PHILIPPINES - In Brief 20 Mar 2019
The signal from BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno was clear, i.e., there is room for monetary easing. But will the Monetary Board cut policy rates when it meets tomorrow? Very unlikely, in our view. What we think will happen is a resumption of its policy to reduce the reserve requirement ratio (RRR) o...

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Growth target downgraded
PHILIPPINES - In Brief 14 Mar 2019
Yesterday, economic managers downgraded their GDP growth target for 2019 from 7-8% to 6-7%, blaming the continuing delay in the passage of the national budget. The budget, which was supposed to have been transmitted for the President’s signature early this month, hit an unexpected snag when the S...

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Coming soon: monetary easing
PHILIPPINES - In Brief 12 Mar 2019
In a one-on-one interview with the country’s best-known business journalist on television, the new BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno noted that falling local inflation plus the more dovish stance of developed economies’ central banks provide room for monetary easing, especially following last year’s 1...

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Inflation now within target
PHILIPPINES - In Brief 05 Mar 2019
As we had expected, inflation fell from 4.4% in January to 3.8% in February, within the BSP’s 2-4% target. The month-on-month inflation rate was steady at 0.2, mainly reflecting the impact of higher oil fuel prices, including the contribution of higher excise taxes on oil. Food prices meanwhile c...

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Budget Secretary is new BSP Chief
PHILIPPINES - In Brief 04 Mar 2019
In a surprise move, President Duterte last night decided that his budget Secretary, Benjamin Diokno, would be the best man to head the BSP. The Secretary is well regarded as an academic and technocrat whose field of expertise is public finance. Although untested in the area of banking and financi...

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The passing of BSP Governor Nestor Espenilla
PHILIPPINES - In Brief 24 Feb 2019
Many had surmised that his job, particularly stressful last year with inflation on the uptrend, was probably making BSP Governor Espenilla's tongue cancer worse. His intermittent medical leaves signaled a daunting disease. But even though people thought it was only a matter of time before he resi...

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The days of swine and roses
PHILIPPINES - Report 14 Feb 2019
Things are far from coming up roses for the Philippines in 2019, the Year of the Pig.A more somber mood greeted the start of the year as talks of slower global growth, persistence of trade war, no-deal Brexit, and US government shutdown made headlines.Locally, notwithstanding tamer inflation and ...

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Inflation falls to 4.4%
PHILIPPINES - In Brief 05 Feb 2019
As expected, headline inflation eased further to 4.4 percent in January from 5.1 percent in December, with core inflation slowing down to 4.4 percent from 4.7 percent over the same period. The headline rate reflects a month on month inflation of 0.2% traced to increased fish prices. In contrast, ...

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GDP growth sustained above 6%
PHILIPPINES - In Brief 24 Jan 2019
Government announced today that 4Q18 GDP grew 6.1%, a little below the median 6.3% analysts’ forecast. The headline rate reflects slower domestic demand growth alongside a smaller drag from net exports. The two are related: the former was pulled down by lower investments in durable equipment, mai...

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