“The accelerated vaccination program, dramatic decrease in COVID-19 cases, and the gradual reopening of the economy contributed to the improvement in market sentiment from uncertainty to optimism.” This was the observation shared by Sun Life Investment Management and Trust Corporation (SLIMTC) President Michael Enriquez during a recent media conference.
SLIMTC maintains a tempered economic outlook compared to other investment houses. The company projects estimated GDP growth of 5.3% for 2021. “This is higher than our initial estimate of 4.5%,” Enriquez said.
Anticipating a U-shaped recovery, Enriquez expects the country’s economy to return to trendline growth within two years. Meanwhile, inflation is projected to be at 4% in 2021 and slowing to 3% in 2022.
Amidst the positive developments, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is seen maintaining its accommodative monetary policy stance, prompting policy rates to remain steady. However, “government bond yields are likely to increase in reaction to the anticipated US Interest rate adjustments” Enriquez stated. “
As for the US Dollar rate, the executive made a conservative forecast within the range of PHP 50 to 51 by the end of the year and an average of PHP 51 to 53 by 2022, attributing the increase to higher imports for next year.
The Philippine Stock Exchange, meanwhile, is estimated to reach 7,900 by end-2022, led by banks, telecommunication companies, construction, and consumer companies.
“We have momentum on our side. We might even see a rally around Christmas, especially since the Omicron variant is allegedly less virulent from original expectations. This could be the positive catalyst for the market’s continued rally for this year,” Enriquez said. “For us at SLIMTC, we look forward to helping clients leverage the opportunities arising as they move forward with this pandemic.”