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Economic Performance Indicators – January 2019


Gross Domestic Product

• The Philippine economy remained one of the fastest growing in Asia, along with Vietnam and China. The PH Government is expecting a 6.5 percent GDP growth in 2018. The PH government will report on the 2018 GDP performance next week.

economic performance indicators

• Inflation averaged 5.2 per cent last year, its quickest pace since the global financial crisis a decade ago.


• The annual employment rate in 2018 was estimated at 94.7 percent; annual unemployment rate was 5.3 percent.

• The total employed persons in the country in 2018 was approximately 41.2 million in 2018.

Budget (Revenues and Expenditure)

• In the first 11 months of 2018, the government’s budget balance swayed to a US $9.1 billion deficit, 96 percent higher than US $4.6 billion shortfall registered in the comparable period in 2017.

Foreign Direct Investment / Portfolio Investment

• FDI net inflows for the first ten months of 2018 reached US$8.5 billion, an increase of 1.8 percent from the US$8.4 billion net inflows in the comparable period in 2017. The government has projected overall FDI to hit $10.4 billion for the entire 2018.


• Personal remittances from OFWs in January – November 2018 reached US$29.1 billion, 2.9 percent higher than the level posted a year ago.

• The bulk of cash remittances for the first eleven months of 2018 came from the US, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Japan, United Kingdom, Qatar, Canada, Germany, and Hong Kong. Cash remittances from these countries accounted for almost 79 percent of total cash remittances.

• Cash remittances from the UK to the Philippines increased by 9.2 per cent at US$1.3 billion from US$1.2 billion for the same period in 2017. UK remains the top source of overseas Filipino remittances in Europe, representing 35.6 % of the total remittances from the region.


• International tourist arrivals in the first three quarters of 2018 reached 5.8 million travellers. Of these, 1.2 million are from South Korea and almost a million from China. On a national basis, South Korea provides 20 per cent of the tourists coming to the country.

• Arrivals of UK visitors have reached 163,000 visitors within the first three quarters of 2018 – this represents a 9.73 per cent increase from the same period in 2017.

• The UK visitors from the Philippines means the UK still ranks as the top visitor market for the Philippines in Europe.

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Peter Beckingham new UK Chairman

After nearly 18 years as UK Chairman of the PBBC, Nigel Rich has stepped down as Chairman and handed the reins over to Peter Beckingham as the new Chairman.

Peter Beckingham

Peter knows the Philippines well having been the British Ambassador in Manila from 2005 to 2009.

Further details about Peter can be found here.

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Economic performance and Indicators – September 2018


Gross Domestic Product economic indicators

• The Philippine’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) slows down by 6 percent in the second quarter of the year. GDP grew by 6.8 percent in the first quarter of the year.

• NEDA has attributed the slowdown to policy decisions which would promote sustainable and resilient development.

• The growth in the 2nd quarter of the year was mainly driven by Manufacturing, Trade, and construction.

Trade / Exports / Imports

• The Philippines’ total external trade in goods In July 2018 reached US$15.25 billion, indicating an increase of 17.5 percent from US$12.97 billion recorded during the same month in 2017.

• From January to July, total imports payments went up by 15.7 percent to US$61.234 billion in 2018 from US$52.923 billion in 2016, whereas, total export receipts shrank by 2.8 percent at US$38.744 billion in 2018 from US$39.869 billion in 2017.

• The country’s balance of trade in goods (BoT-G) yielded a US$22.49 billion deficit in January to July 2017, 72.3 percent bigger than the US$13.055 billion trade gap in same period of 2017.


• The headline inflation rate at the national level further accelerated by 6.4 percent in August 2018. In the previous month, inflation was posted at 5.7 percent and in August 2017, 2.6 percent.

• The indices of the following commodity groups recorded higher annual increases during the month: Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages (8.5%); Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco (21.6%); Furnishing, Housing Equipment (3.5%); Health and Restaurant and Miscellaneous Goods and Services (4.0%); and Recreation and Culture (2.4).


• As of July 2018, the unemployment rate was estimated at 5.4 percent. The unemployment rate in July 2017 was 5.6 percent.

• Estimates showed that 94.6 percent of the labour force population were employed in July, a slight increase from 94.4 percent last year.

Budget (Revenues and Expenditure)

• From January to June, government revenue collections vis-à-vis spending narrowed fiscal deficit to US$3.5 Billion, due to improved collections thanks to the new tax reform law (TRAIN law).

• Revenue collections reached US$26 Billion in the first half of the year.

• Government disbursements reached US$29.6 Billion or 20 percent higher than the US$24.6 Billion in the same period in 2017.

Foreign Direct Investment / Portfolio Investment

• For the first semester of the year, Foreign direct investments (FDI) grew by 165 percent to US$14.5 billion from US$5.5 billion for the same period in 2017, reflecting continued confidence of investors in the Philippine economy.

• By country, Indonesia topped all foreign investors with US$118 million, followed by Japan with US$48 million and China with US$16 million worth of investments.

Foreign Exchange Reserves

• The country’s foreign exchange reserves buffer improved to US$77 billion in August, up 1.4 percent from July’s US$76 billion.

• As of end-August, the Bangko Sentral has foreign investments of US$61.68 billion, higher than the previous month’s US$60.74 billion. Gold reserves however fell to US$7.62 billion from US$7.78 billion in July.


• Data from Bangko Sentral showed that money sent by OFWs recovered in July this year. OFW personal remittances grew by 4.5 percent in July to US$2.7 billion. On a cumulative basis, personal remittances grew by 3 percent year-on-year to US$18.5 billion.

• More than 79 percent of total cash remittances came from the US, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Singapore, Japan, UK, Qatar, Canada, Germany, and Hong Kong.

• There are currently 10 million overseas Filipinos worldwide.

• From January to July 2018, cash remittances from the UK to the Philippines increased by 9.9 percent at US$ 856,256,000 from US$ 799,049,000 for the same period in 2017. The UK remains the top source of overseas Filipino remittances in Europe, representing 35.36 % of the total remittances from the region.



scene of beach in coron, philippines

• First semester tourist arrivals increased by 10.4 percent (or 3.7 million), compared to the 3.3 million arrivals recorded for the same period last year.

• Despite the closure of Boracay, tourism officials are confident that the year-end target of 7.5 million arrivals will be achieved.

• Arrivals from the UK have reached 89,782 within the first five months of this year. The UK still ranks as the 8th top visitor market for the Philippines.

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Asia Diversity Summit 2018

Asia Diversity Summit 2018, presented by Teletech, on September 25 (a full day event) at the Manila Marriott. REGISTER HERE.

Asia Diversity Summit establishes Philippines among the elite nations of the world that recognize and support diversity and inclusion in business and society.

Asia Diversity Summit recognizes the millions of people who still live in shame and fear because of the special way they were put on this earth. Help us spread the word that ALL people can reach their highest limits by their personal contributions and not be hindered by their personal orientations.

Long known for being caring and supportive, Filipinos are leading the way in Asia in harnessing the special abilities and commitments of diverse people. Large organizations in Philippines already report LGBTQ employee participation rates as high as 20 and 30 percent.

Asia Diversity Summit features pioneering leaders speaking on inclusion strategies, common challenges and future opportunities in establishing your organization as world class.


Be with us for Asia Diversity Summit to make your organization a truly open and inclusive one for all people — especially those who identify themselves as a bit different.
Be with us for Asia Diversity Summit 2018, presented by Teletech, on Tuesday, September 25 (9:00am – 4:30pm) at the Manila Marriott. REGISTER HERE. The cost is Php5,000 and includes 5-star Marriott lunch and hors d’oeuvres (Php6,000 if paid at the door).

Speakers for Asia ECOMM Summit 2018 include:

Arthur NowakArthur Nowak
Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific Operations

PRESENTER: Arthur is President and General Manager of the Teletech operations Philippines, Australia, and New Zealand entities. He is also global head of Training and Leadership Development responsible for building the skills of over 50,000 employees in the world.

Geraldine RomanGeraldine Roman
Republic of the Philippines

PRESENTER: Geraldine is the first openly transgender women elected to the Congress of the Philippines. She is representative of the 1st District of Bataan following the 2016 Philippine elections. Geraldine is helping the poor by awarding scholarships and pushing for anti-discrimination laws.

Randy Estrellado Randy Estrellado
Chief Operating Officer
Maynilad Water

PRESENTER: Randy oversees one of the nation’s largest utility companies. He was previously the company’s high-regarded and long-term CFO. Randy has an MBA from Harvard and was previously CFO for Metro Pacific Investments and ABS-CBN Broadcasting.

Jimmy NguyenJimmy Nguyen
Chief Executive Officer
nChain Group

PRESENTER: Jimmy’s mission is to enable massive growth of the Bitcoin network focusing on Bitcoin Cash as the true Bitcoin. The nChain group of companies consists of world-class scientific research, engineering and other professionals primarily based in London, United Kingdom and Vancouver, Canada.

Kate CordovaKate Cordova
Philippine Country Coordinating Mechanism of Global Fund

PRESENTER: Kate is one of the nation’s most prominent promoters of transgender issues. She is the key force behind the Association of Transgenders in the Philippines. Kate also manages a motivated group of talented people at Capital One Philippines Support Services.

Boy AbundaBoy Abunda
TV Host
King of Talk

PRESENTER: is a Filipino television host, publicist, talent manager and celebrity endorser. He has been dubbed as the King-of-Talk in local show business.

Mark LwinMark Lwin
CEO and General Manager
AIG Philippines Insurance, AIG Shared Services (Philippines)

PRESENTER: Mark is unique in that he oversees 2 demanding business operations: AIG Insurance (in the day) and AIG Shared Services (in the night). He is recent winner of the Expatriate Executive of the Year at Asia CEO Awards.

Brian TenorioBrian Tenorio
Chair and Founder
The Philippine LGBT Chamber of Commerce

PRESENTER: Brian is currently an International Consultant for Branding and Design at the Asian Development Bank and a Design and Communications Consultant at the World Health Organization. He also chairs the Designers for Development Network New York. All this while heading his business in coffee+culture in the Philippines, Kape Coffee Co. and Tenorium Ent, his multi-disciplinary design agency in Manila.

Mark WoolfreyMark Woolfrey
Executive General Manager
QBE Group (Global Shared Services Center)

PRESENTER: Mark leads a high-profile operation with 3 sites in Manila and Cebu, providing a range of high value services supporting 34 countries across Australia / New Zealand, Asia, Europe and North American Operations. He previously ran shared services operations for ANZ Bank.

John NichollsJohn Nicholls
Former COO
HSBC Philippines

PRESENTER: John is one of the region’s most senior banking executives with senior experience throughout the world (UK, Russia, Brazil, Peru, Azerbaijan, Taiwan, UAE, Philippines). He actively supports multiple social advocacies – corporate responsibility; diversity and inclusion; mentor to graduates working as public school teachers.

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