BPI Lead Economist Elucidates on Philippine Economic Outlook

PNBC members and business colleagues once again enjoyed another successfully held Networking Luncheon event last October 6, 2015, this time featuring as guest speaker the very eloquent Mr. Emilio S. Neri Jr., Vice President and Lead Economist of the Bank of the Philippine Islands.

Mr. Neri gave a presentation on the economic outlook of the Philippines, comparing the country’s performance with its neighbors in Asia and the rest of the world. He expounded on the implications of a devalued Yuan and the looming rise in US interest rates. His analysis of how the Philippines has performed in the last decade was an eye-opener, and he use the iconic jeepney and a sportscar as an illustration of the country’s performance. He explained that having sufficient foreign currency reserves has cushioned the Philippines from external financial shocks that has so far affected the rest of the world. As a result, the Philippine Peso has only dropped 11 percent against the greenback.

This archipelagic nation could have also suffered much from the unhedged dollar-denominated borrowings of its private sector, if not for OFW remittances and the BPO industry. Likewise, as an importer of oil, we benefit from the low oil prices in the world market.

Finally Mr. Neri looked into the implications of having a young and high-quality workforce as an advantage of the country over other nations with relatively aging populace.

The presentation drew a lot of interesting questions from the PNBC members, and fueled the ensuing lively conversations and incisive analyses while everyone capped the luncheon with the perfunctory sugar fix and coffee.

Prior to Mr. Neri’s presentation, PNBC VP Jannicke Steen presented an upcoming event in January 2016; Norway Maritime Conference, which is being organized by PNBC in cooperation with partners in both government and private sector. Details of this event can be found at www.norwaymaritime.ph.