USA Eco-Trends

Opinions Unlimited

by Atty. Tony(APA) Acyatan (Atty. APA – chairman of Acyatan & Co., CPAs-DFK International is president of PICPA in 1990 and ASEAN Federation of CPAs (1998-2000) and Accountancy Hall-of-Famer (2006).

EMPLOYMENT:  The jobless rate in the United States is now decelerating – as more service areas are opening up.  The good news favor our fellow Pinoys many of whom were either previously laid-off or with reduced working hours.  Hopefully, as they re-acquire full working status (including some lucky TNTs) this could spell improved FX remittances.  Unfortunately – this will happen even as the peso equivalent of the dollar inflows are getting smaller.

There are areas in the world where OFWs are not threatened by the reduced exchange value of the US Dollar.  These are the countries whose currencies have similarly appreciated against the USD.  They  include China, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Japan.  The UK money and the Euro are floating in the same horizon as the US Dollar – but recent moves of the Barack Obama administration might “devalue” the dollar to promote US competitiveness.

STIMULUS:  The US Federal Reserve’s decision to pour US600B into the US economy will cause the general reduction in FX equivalent of the greenbacks.  It is hoped that the “new money” will generate new jobs – especially those for producing export products.  US exports will become “cheaper” in terms of the respective domestic currencies of the importing countries.  On the other hand – exports to the USA will become costlier in dollar terms.

The further “depreciation” of the dollar value will spell problems for the trading partners of the USA, including the Philippines.  Trading of products and services would now favor US producers to the sorry predicament of smaller countries.  Actually, the USA is just strongly reacting to the “belligerent” refusal of China to re-price the strong yuan.  As the old adage says:  “Sa kabayo ang hataw, sa hinete ang latay”.

RP INFLATION:  The good prospects are that our domestic inflation rate will not go up next year – since the cost of fuel is expected to be held down.  Opinions Unlimited is not subscribing to this prediction – since demand for oil will most likely shoot up as global economies improve. Economists also project that our cost of food will be stationary as additional demands shall be covered by our improved agri-production.

Our 10-month inflation rate for 2010 is set at a low 2.8% goal and the annual rate is targeted at 3.5%, which is lower than the BSP forecast.  In fairness to the previous administration, many of the economic advancements we are now experiencing may have been accounted for by the measures erstwhile launched by the Arroyo administration.  Our advice to our present leaders is to do more work, even as less criticisms are hurled against past government performers. Go forward na lang tayo!

AUSTERE:  Our family usually travel out of the country for pleasure and fellowship bonding.  We are able to do this currently by riding on advertized promotions of airlines and travel organizations. This weekend, we were in Singapore – availing of the cheap fares offered by Air Philippines (sister company of PAL).  The airplane appears to be new (no TV facility) – but the service is very “cheap”.  No magazines or newpapers are on-board, and no free drinks or even crackers are given away.

Snacks /semi-meals are offered for sale by young flight attendants garbed in (modest) shorts and T-Shirts. They were a pitiful sight as many of the passengers (like me) simply ignored the offered “costly” deals.  My alternative during the 200-minute flight was to work on my Sudoku puzzles and to sleep.  Announcements were also scanty.  Before we know it, after a slight tire-bump, we were already on the NAIA runway!  Indeed – present-day travels are now cheaply available to every-Juan.

LESSON:  The good Lord provided all of us with talents and opportunities. The best among us succeeded because they use them well.

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