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Publications and Research

BSP Economic Newsletter

The BSP Economic Newsletter aims to provide to the BSP community and the public a readily accessible, up-to-date, concise and reader-friendly compendium of studies on current economic and financial issues.

Latest Issue:

Abstract: This article provides a short overview of the concept of deflation or negative inflation rate. It addresses the question of why deflation, like inflation, may not be a good thing for the economy

Previous Issues:


Abstract:The world economy's history of financial and economic crises prompted policymakers to review the pitfalls of existing conventional tools and measures. It is in this light that new and unconventional analytical frameworks were recently thrust to the forefront of financial policy analysis. This paper discusses one such analytical tool, the balance sheet analysis framework, which examines the heterogeneity of economic sectors' financial positions.


Abstract:In the BSP, there are continuing efforts to develop and improve further its suite of economic models used for forecasting and policy analysis. This newsletter describes the semi-structural and seasonal Autoregressive, Integrated, Moving Average (SARIMAX) process used by the BSP to forecast the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the inflation rate one- to three-months ahead by aggregating the forecasts of the individual components of the CPI.

Abstract:This newsletter article highlights some of the important developments that characterized the Philippine economy in 2014. It likewise provides a brief overview of what could be expected in 2015, including the risks and challenges that lie ahead.


Abstract:The recent global financial crisis highlighted the importance of addressing information gaps in the financial sector, prompting the IMF to include the Other Financial Corporations Survey (OFCS) as a data category of the Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS) Plus. This article discusses the importance of the OFCS compilation, its preliminary framework and policy implications.

Abstract:To address information asymmetry in cross-border trade, governments set up offices abroad such as diplomatic representations and trade promotion organizations (TPOs) to disseminate information on domestic products and inform foreign markets. This article discusses the positive externalities created by TPOs in the Philippines, particularly its contribution in creating linkages to expand trade, industries, and investments in the country.

Abstract:The Philippines is one of the world’s largest consumers of rice—the average Filipino consumes about 123 kilograms of rice per year, the sixth highest in the world. Given the significant share of rice to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), the rice industry is one of the key sectors being monitored by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. This article discusses the recent developments in the rice market, issues on self-sufficiency, outlook on prices, and the government's policy response to supply shocks.

Abstract:The concept of national security has evolved from a traditionalist state-centric concept to a more comprehensive one that includes economic security as an important dimension. Monetary and financial policies, which the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is mandated to implement, are necessary to promote economic security. This article provides a discussion on the relationship of monetary and financial policies to national security.


Abstract:The key to the effectiveness of reforms in the electric power industry is the freedom of choice for all electricity end-users. This paper provides a discussion of the initial implementation of the Retail Competition and Open Access (RCOA), one of the reforms enacted under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) to restructure the power industry, a scheme designed to promote greater competition and private sector participation. The Philippines’ readiness to shift to RCOA is also examined based on studies made by several institutions and agencies on the experience of countries with retail competition. There are a number of transitional issues (such as metering costs, stranded costs, switching of supplier) which is to be addressed in order for the RCOA reforms to bear fruit. Nevertheless, according to the DOE, a reduction in generation charges can be achieved once power supply is sufficient, and RCOA is fully implemented.

Abstract:The development in the global financial architecture has highlighted the need for additional tools that will facilitate the analysis of financial transactions across the institutional sectors of the economy. One such tool is the Financial Social Accounting Matrix (FSAM). This paper discusses the FSAM as a tool that analyzes the structure of the economy by articulating in detail the sub-sectors of the financial sector as well as the financial transactions of all the institutional units that are carried out through the use of various financial instruments. The paper also discusses the importance of the analytical applications of FSAM in the BSP’s conduct of monetary policy.


Abstract:Despite the significant improvements in the Philippines' macroeconomic performance through 2002 to 2010, the country's credit ratings were even lower in 2010 than in 2002. In 2012, after several upgrades, the latest long-term foreign currency ratings are just even with those of ten years ago. By employing econometric and statistical methologies, this study intends to show that the Philippines' long-term foreign currency credit rating has been underrated.

Abstract:Several studies have shown that there has been a significant improvement in information disclosure of central banks over the last ten years, the most pronounced improvement of which has taken place particularly in the communication of policy decisions. Similarly, the BSP considers its monetary policy statements as integral to the inflation targeting process, and the most potent vehicle for communicating its monetary policy. The BSP hence ensures the absence of any transparency gaps by preparing a monetary policy statement that is clear, complete in content, appropriately structured and adequate in length, guided by a few basic principles.

Abstract:Economists and policymakers are divided in their views as to what the reasons are behind the current European debt crisis. The depth of the complication and interrelatedness of the European turmoil have prompted serious thoughts about the effectiveness of policies designed to contain them. This paper provides a discussion on the divergent views on the origin of the European turmoil and proposed policy responses. Moreover, the paper discusses the potential impact of the European turmoil on the Philippine economy which could pass through possible spillover channels.

Abstract:The very liquid global economic environment has prompted the increased use of reserve requirements (RRs) among emerging economy central banks, primarily as a less costly means of absorbing liquidity associated with increased reserve accumulation. Alternatively, increases in policy rates may also be utilized but may fail to constrain bank lending in the short run when the pass-through from the policy rate to market rates is weak. This paper argues that policy interest rates should continue to serve as the main instrument for signaling the monetary policy stance.

Abstract:Developments in the labor sector, particularly the level of unemployment in the economy, are important to the conduct of monetary policy.  Both theory and empirical evidence support the existence of a short-run tradeoff between inflation and unemployment.  This newsletter provides a discussion on how the relationship between these two variables behaved over time in the Philippines and its implications on the conduct of monetary policy.

Abstract:By June 2012, users of the Balance of Payments (BOP) and International Investment Position (IPP) data can expect some changes in the statistical reports that the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas generates. This is consistent with international best practice of implementing the Balannce of Payments Manual, 6th edition (BPM6), as revised by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2008. This article discusses the major changes of the international accounts under the BPM6 framework.


Abstract: Understanding the economic drivers of international claims and cross-border bank lending to emerging market is key to analyzing financial vulnerabilities. However, one needs to consider a larger lending picture. This article examines the drivers of international claims and cross-border lending to the Philippines and the role of foreign banks during financial crises.

Abstract: Most central banks, including the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, consider transparency and communication as integral components of their monetary policy framework. Communication is in fact important not only as a means to convey information about monetary policy, but also as a policy tool for the central bank. This study aims to conduct an assessment of the BSP's current transparency and communication policies using the International Monetary Fund (IMF)'s Code of Good Practices on Transparency in Monetary and Financial Policies (TMFP Code) developed in 1999.

Abstract: The recent global financial crisis has reduced productive capacities and therefore tax revenues, and at the same time has caused government spending to rise to record levels following the implementation of fiscal stimulus measures. This has also raised concerns about the debt sustainability of countries, particularly those mired in soaring sovereign borrowings. In this article, we look into the rudiments of public debt and the various measures adopted by monetary and fiscal institutions across countries to prevent the global economy from plunging into a wide-scale depression.

Abstract:Industry cluster strategy occupies an important role in the government’s development plans. In the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) for 2011-2016, further development of industry clusters is included in the ten-point agenda, specifically, to increase productivity and efficiency of the industry and services sectors to enable them to contribute more to economic growth and employment. In this article, we look into the benefits and challenges of cluster development in the Philippines.

Abstract:The Philippines saw a resurgence in capital flows in the latter part of 2010. Two things are behind this occurrence: (i) the Philippines’ strength of recovery in 2010 and its upbeat growth prospects for 2011, and (ii) the uneven pace of economic rebound between advanced countries and emerging market economies (EMEs). To cope with capital flow surges, the BSP employs a menu of options that invloves the combination of regulatory reforms and pragmatic approach to monetary policy.

Abstract: Does an increase in nominal wage cause price inflation? Or does the causality run the other way - price inflation causes wage inflation? These are questions faced by monetary authorities when looking at the relationship between changes in wages and in prices. In this article, we look into the economic theory behind this relationship and on the empirical evidence.