Stars align for the Philippines

Consumer loans to GDP and working age population growth.

Historically overlooked and sometimes just plain ignored, the Philippines has long since shaken off its tag as the ‘Sick man of Asia’. A far cry from its days as a heavily indebted country, the Philippines is now a net lender of US dollars in the global debt markets. What’s more, it has been running a current-account surplus for years. Consumer debt to GDP is very low in comparison to the rest of Asia, while the country’s savings rate is at an all-time high. And then there’s the country’s highly supportive population dynamics. They too add up. With a median age of just 23.5 years in 2012, the Philippines boasts a rapidly expanding working age population. Indeed, this is expected to grow by around 50% between 2011 and 2036. It also means a very low elderly dependency ratio.[1]

The country has the potential to stand toe-to-toe with the best performing markets in the world, let alone Asia, over the next 20 years.

Jason Pidcock, Newton



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