Country Insights

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Omicron watch 2
PHILIPPINES - In Brief 10 Jan 2022
In the span of one week, new Covid19 cases spiked from a 7-day average of less than 2k as of Jan 2 to over 16k as of Jan 9. In the latest batch of 48 Covid19 cases sequenced, the Philippine Genome Center detected the Omicron variant in 29 of the samples, making it the dominant strain. Although Me...

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New year, new wave (Omicron watch)
PHILIPPINES - In Brief 02 Jan 2022
The new year has started on a sour note for the tens of thousands newly sickened by the coronavirus. Although limited sampling has meant that the Omicron variant has been detected in only a few of the local cases so far, it is reasonable to assume that the sudden multiplication of cases since Chr...

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Is it game over?
PHILIPPINES - In Brief 22 Dec 2021
Pulse Asia released today the results of its survey of on voters’ presidential preferences conducted in the first week of December. The late dictator’s son, former Senator Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., was the top pick, with a majority (53%) of the respondents saying they will vote for him if elections ...

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Monetary policy considerations
PHILIPPINES - In Brief 21 Dec 2021
Although central banks around the world pursued similar strategies of pouring monies into their economies in the wake of the pandemic, it is clear from their divergent moves this year that there is no one-size-fits-all exit strategy. With the most-watched central bank, the US Fed, signaling readi...

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Where are the jobs?
PHILIPPINES - In Brief 09 Dec 2021
The October rounds of the Labor Force Survey (LFS) highlight a key weakness in the economy’s recovery from the pandemic: lack of quality jobs. The impact on household incomes and consumption will hamper the recovery. Between 2019 and 2021, the labor force grew faster than the working age populati...

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Pandora’s hope
PHILIPPINES - Forecast 02 Dec 2021
The Philippine economy withstood a Delta-driven surge in Q3 and is set to end the year on a high note. We forecast GDP growth at 5.5% this year and next, bringing domestic output to pre-pandemic levels only by late 2022. This outlook is based on two critical assumptions: (1) existing vaccines wor...

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Will the President back Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.? (2)
PHILIPPINES - In Brief 22 Nov 2021
The odds have practically fallen to zero following the President’s non-cryptic remark last week that a presidential candidate uses cocaine. Without naming Marcos (popularly called by his nickname “Bongbong” and shortened to “BBM”), he described the candidate as rich but said that he was a “weak l...

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Will the President back Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.?
PHILIPPINES - In Brief 16 Nov 2021
What we know at this time:The period for filing of substitute candidates is over. Presidential daughter, Davao Mayor Sara Duterte, decided to run for vice president under the party of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Presidential aspirant Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. who is running under a less...

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​A pleasant surprise
PHILIPPINES - In Brief 09 Nov 2021
Despite the spike in covid19 infections due to the delta variant and the tightening of lockdown restrictions, the Philippine economy grew at a surprisingly strong 7.1% yoy growth clip in 3Q21, or 3.8% on a sequential seasonally-adjusted basis. The main driver was a 7% qoq growth in household cons...

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A better Christmas
PHILIPPINES - In Brief 05 Nov 2021
The government yesterday unexpectedly announced a lowering of Metro Manila’s covid alert level from 3 to 2, which would allow close contact services to operate at 50% capacity (from 30%). This came alongside an increase in the allowable ridership for public transportation to 70% of capacity (from...

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​Delta watch 7
PHILIPPINES - In Brief 29 Oct 2021
Government today announced that Metro Manila will remain under alert level 3 until November 14. The 5-level alert system was introduced in mid-September with “1” being the least restrictive and “5” the most restrictive. Metro Manila was downgraded from level 4 to level 3 in mid-October. Alert lev...

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​Que Sera, Sara
PHILIPPINES - In Brief 13 Oct 2021
What we know at this time:The period for filing of certificates of candidacy (COC) closed last Friday and six publicly recognizable figures are running for the presidency. In alphabetical order: Manila Mayor Francisco Domagoso, Senator Ronald dela Rosa, Senator Panfilo Lacson, former Senator Ferd...

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​Inflation concerns
PHILIPPINES - In Brief 11 Oct 2021
In a September Pulse Asia survey[1] published last week, “controlling inflation” emerged as the most urgent national concern, significantly ahead of “controlling the spread of covid-19.” Government’s approval score for handling inflation dropped 26 percentage points compared with survey results i...

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​The China connection
PHILIPPINES - In Brief 04 Oct 2021
Ongoing efforts by Chinese authorities to rein in excessive leverage in the property sector has had unintended consequences on global financial markets. The financial troubles of heretofore unheard-of Chinese property firm, Evergrande, have not only raised, in a moment of panic, the specter of an...

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​The circus is in town
PHILIPPINES - In Brief 22 Sep 2021
The 2022 presidential election is shaping up to be as we expected in our August Forecast report[1], i.e., a multi-contested fight.What we know at this time:Announced candidacy for the presidency: Senator Panfilo Lacson (age, 73), Senator Manuel Pacquiao (42) and Manila Mayor Francisco Domagoso (4...