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PIA Press Release

PGMA welcomes Merrill Lynch assessment of RP economy

Cagayan de Oro City (4 October) -- With the peso continuing to strengthen against the US dollar, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo expressed elation today over another welcome news: the positive assessment by American investment bank Merrill Lynch of the country’s economic outlook.

"I am happy that Merrill Lynch, a leading investment bank in America, has dubbed as a success story the economic reforms we have undertaken," the President said during a roundtable discussion in Malacanang this morning.

Merrill Lynch is one of the world’s leading wealth management, capital markets and advisory companies, with offices in 36 countries and territories. Its clients’ assets is approximately $1.5 trillion.

As an investment bank, Merrill Lynch is a leading global trader and underwriter of securities and derivatives across-the-broad range of asset classes and serves as a strategic advisor to corporations, governments, institutions and individuals worldwide.

In a recent report, the investment bank said a positive rating for the Philippines is expected early next year, "reflecting the strong fiscal adjustment and strengthening macrofundamentals" of the country.

"All key macroeconomic indicators point to a significant improvement in the fundamentals and the absence of microeconomic risks in the near term. The outlook for economic growth continues to be positive and we expect the inflation outlook to remain benign," the investment bank’s report said.

The President said economic reforms will be pursued without letup in order that the people will feel the benefits of the improving economy.

The peso opened today at P49.95 from yesterday’s close of P50.01, extending its rally to a new four-year high of P49.90 in early trading.

"As the rate of oil prices went down – our inflation rate is recorded at 6 percent. Compared to other countries hard hit by high oil prices, we can say that our inflation rate is benign. Another good news is that LPG prices have also been rolled back by P2 per liter," the President said.

The Chief Executive also said that from only P500 million, the projected revenue from the privatization of government assets from January to August this year amounted to P867 million.

Also today, Press Secretary and Presidential Spokesperson Ignacio R. Bunye said that the peso continues to gain on the US dollar because of the overall discipline and spirit of enterprise of the Filipino.

He said the government will ensure the flow down of macroeconomics gains to every family that has a role in building up the economic foundations of the country.

"We are reaping global confidence for the sound stewardship of reforms, tough decisions and growing political stability," he said. (OPS/PIA-10) [top]

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