• Economic News Updates

    Economic News Updates

    For each market we cover, OBG produces regular economic research available on our website, by email subscription and via RSS feed. Free to access, our Economic Updates are targeted at those looking for regular comment on key sector developments.

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The Philippines government has announced plans to step up spending on transport infrastructure, with upgrades to existing ports and the development of new maritime cargo handling facilities to be given priority.

The Philippines is making progress in boosting its ability to compete in the global economy, according to a recently released report. Although the country still has some way to go before being able to match many of its neighbours, its rationalisation of trade tariffs, an improving macroeconomic environment and a growing technological readiness have all strengthened its capacity to conduct business on the international stage.

The Philippines’ central bank is confident the country’s financial system can withstand any strains imposed by an economic slowdown in Western markets, though it is keeping an eye on the domestic banking industry for any signs that it may be catching the chill afflicting the US and Europe.

New offshore natural gas deposits are set to vastly expand the Philippines’ hydrocarbons reserves at a time when demand at home is on the increase. The country has proven natural gas reserves of 108.7bn cu metres, ranking it 51st in the world, with annual production of around 3bn cu metres. While this is sufficient to meet current demand, with the economy expanding and demand for electricity on the rise, calls on domestic gas reserves are expected to increase in the coming years.

The Philippines business processing outsourcing (BPO) sector is fast developing into one of the pillars of the nation’s economy, with both earnings and employment levels soaring in recent years, though there are concerns that international competition, rising costs and staff shortages could undermine future growth.

The construction sector in the Philippines appears to be cooling after a fast-paced 2010, with a slowing of state spending and concerns over the health of the global economy taking some of the heat out of what remains a growth industry.