Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Worst is over for Philippine economy

Signs show the worst is over for RP, economic planner says
Regina T. Aguilar
BusinessWorld
http://www.bworldonline.com/BW051309/content.php?id=053

MACTAN, CEBU — The global and the domestic economies are showing signs that the worst is over, an official of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said yesterday.

From a rebound of 15.9% growth in exports last March from five consecutive months of decline, to increasing employment opportunities overseas, to rehiring of laid-off workers — all amid a muted inflation environment that is expected to boost consumption — signs are showing that "the worst seems over...for the Philippine economy," NEDA Deputy Director General Rolando G. Tungpalan told reporters after a Cabinet meeting here. "Inflation is now down to 4.8%. It is rapidly falling and will boost personal consumption," he said.

He also referred to the statement in mid-March of US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke that recession there could end this year, triggering a rally in global markets. The US remained the Philippines’ single biggest export market, accounting for 17.3% of total exports last March, followed by Japan with 15.4% and China with 10.6%.

Almost 100,000 jobs are now also available abroad for the Filipinos, said Mr. Tungpalan. About 15,000-20,000 jobs are being offered in Guam, 60,000 in Saudi Arabia and 20,000 in Qatar.

He also noted that, here in Cebu itself, export firms are rehiring laid-off workers to meet demand that is picking up abroad.

Nationwide, the number of displaced workers fell to 1,026 last April 1-15 from 14,512 in March, he noted.

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