At the conclusion of World War II, in 1944, Gen. Douglas MacArthur triumphantly said, “I have returned,” as he waded ashore in The Philippines. The South Pacific country’s economy would assert something similar if it had a voice. Philippine Islands, which

Gen. Douglas MacArthur, wading ashore in the Philippines near the end of World War II, declared triumphantly, “We have returned. The South Pacific country’s economy would assert something similar if it had a voice.

More than 7,100 islands make up the Philippines, which saw its highest growth in more than 40 years. Despite the end of zero-COVID euphoria, several smaller southeast Asian countries are experiencing economic boomlets at far healthier rates than major nations like the US, Japan, and even China.

Nobody Can Resist a Comeback

The Philippines experienced over 66,000 fatalities throughout the epidemic and had arguably of the most extensive COVID prevention programmes in existence. But since last February, the government has started to loosen restrictions to help the economy get off the ground. For example, it has made it mandatory for kids to go back to school in person, removed the requirement for masks in public places, and opened up the tourism sector, which brought in more than $9 billion in 2019.

The Philippines is now back in business, and things are going well. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, the country’s overall economic growth rate for 2022 was 7.6%, exceeding economists’ predictions of 6.5%. But the Philippines doesn’t simply rely on tourists who enjoy laying on white-sand beaches and daring diners who want to taste balut for the first time. The majority of last year’s rise, according to the government office, was due to manufacturing, construction, car maintenance, and retail.

The Philippines are not an exception.

Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam, three neighbouring nations, all experienced significant economic growth rates in 2022 of 5.2%, 6.5%, and 8%, respectively. The president of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., stated at the World Economic Forum in Davos that he anticipates the economy to continue to expand at a rate of about 7% in 2023.

However, since China is the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ main commercial partner, much of that optimistic prognosis hinges on its success. China’s economy grew by just 3% in 2022, which was the weakest result in around 50 years. Zero-COVID limits for three years had a negative impact on almost every industry and did little to stop outbreaks.

Simple there: Despite a strong recovery last year and possibly a bright 2023, the Philippines is afflicted by… Ah, yes, inflation According to the PSA, in 2022 the average inflation rate increased to 5.8% from 3.9% in the previous year. The high cost of locally produced food has been referred to as a “emergency scenario” by President Marcos, who also serves as the agriculture secretary. Filipino food’s main ingredient, onions, now costs more than meat. It will be challenging to maintain the current economic trend because economists predict that both consumer and government expenditure will drop.

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