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Friday, May 5, 2017

Great Depression vs. Great Recession GDP Growth Rates - Updated As of the First Quarter of 2017

In March 2015, two illustrious economists, both Former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers have been duking it out on the blogosphere about secular stagnation.  In layman's terms, both are attempting to describe why the US Recovery from the Great Recession feel so sluggish.



Ten years into the start of the Great Recession and the economy is no where near take-off speed. Instead, we seem to be decelerating. The first quarter growth for 2017 was an anemic 0.7% annualized. To be fair, the economy does seem to get the "winter blues" in the first quarter of each year, sometimes dipping into negative territory.



At this point in the Great Depression, the US economy was roaring back into recovery at an 8.08% annual growth rate, something that economists today can only dream of. Despite five years of deeply negative economic growth (1930 to 1933 and 1938), the US economy managed to grow at an average growth rate of 1.31% per year. Our current average? Only 1.25% per annum, despite having a relatively shallow dips of -2.70% in 2008 and -0.20% in 2009.  Our economic growth rate never went past 2.70% (in 2013) this entire time. The economy has truly stagnated with no end in sight.


Friday, April 28, 2017

Have ASEAN House Prices Kept Up With Incomes?

The short answer is: yes. Throughout the ASEAN region, incomes have risen together with house prices. The only exception is Thailand, where house prices have underperformed both incomes as well as inflation. As of 2015, the Thailand House Price Index is only 15.13% higher than where it was as of year-end 2004. Incomes, as measured by GDP Per Capita, are 120% higher than they were during the same period. General prices are 33.84% higher than they were for the same period.

In all the other countries, incomes have outpaced house prices as well as inflation. However, in certain countries, the gap between incomes and house prices is narrowing. In Malaysia, incomes fell in 2015 to such an extent that only a 16.38% gap exists between incomes and house prices. The GDP per capita index now stands at 243.88 while house price index is at 227.50 as of 2015.



In Singapore, that gap between incomes and house prices is now only 20.66 percentage points.


In Indonesia, the gap between incomes and inflation has narrowed considerably. It is only 10.02% percentage points. But the gap between incomes and house prices remains stubbornly wide: 37.95% percentage points.


In the Philippines, incomes have outpaced house prices by a large margin 47.89% percentage points as of 2015.  The gap between incomes and inflation is even larger: 107.96% percentage points.



This indicates that ASEAN house prices, in general, may have more room to run if incomes continue to grow and that growth is evenly distributed. As in most emerging economies, income and wealth inequality is rampant, especially in the Philippines. Read: One Major Reason for the Rise of the Vulgarian Rodrigo Duterte: Wealth Inequality

Friday, April 14, 2017

What Gives in the Philippine Real Estate Market? Sales Volumes Are Up Yet House Prices Decline in 2016

According to the HLURB, sales volume increased by a dramatic 17.59% to reach 255,115 units sold in 2016 from only 216,503 units sold in 2015.  Yet prices stayed flat or declined slightly year-on-year in 2016.  The Philippine House Price Index, computed from changes in house prices in the Makati CBD as published in the Global Property Guide, fell by a slight 0.75% from year-end 2015 to reach 218.47 in 2016.




According to the Residential Real Estate Price Index put out by the BSP, prices for all types of housing grew by a marginal 0.3% year-on-year 2016, the slowest pace since the index came out in the second quarter of 2015.



Metro Manila saw a significant 8.6% year-on-year decline in the single detached housing market. In areas outside the NCR, the decline was marginal - only 0.18% in 2016. Overall, the market for single detached homes declined by 1.00% in 2016.


Price declines in the duplex market were also very significant, droppng 12.32% in 2016 alone.  The NCR singlehandedly contributed to this decline, dropping 8.80% in 2016, more than offsetting all of the gains in duplex prices outside Metro Manila, which grew by a respectable 5.50% in 2016.



The townhouse market remained healthy.  Townhouse prices increased by 6.24% in 2016 overall.  But almost all of this increase came outside Metro Manila.  Ex-NCR, townhouse prices increased by 16.31% in 2016. In the NCR, townhouse prices increased by a barely perceptible 0.08% in 2016.



Ex-NCR was also the bright spot in the condominium market.  Outside the NCR, condo prices increased by 6.24% in 2016. NCR condo prices also grew, albeit more slowly: 1.27% in 2016, bringing up the Philippine average by 1.79% in terms of condo prices in 2016.



Much of the growth, therefore, is coming not from the over-saturated NCR, but from outside of it, indicating that the benefits of economic growth are spreading out to the rest of the Philippine economy, which could result in a much healthier real estate market.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Singapore Continues its Controlled Slide of House Prices While Philippine House Prices Decline Slightly in 2016

Almost all countries discussed in this blog post, with the exception of Thailand, have been experiencing rapid growth in home prices that have outstripped inflation by a wide margin.  The gap between home prices and their inflation adjusted levels are at the widest ever, particularly in Singapore, Hong Kong, and the Philippines.


Singapore



Singapore's home prices have now been declining for thirteen straight quarters, which, according to Bloomberg, is the longest losing streak in five years.  Home prices are still  68.93% above their year-end 2004 levels. Overall prices levels, as measured by inflation have just increased by 28.97% since year end 2004.  In other words, for the past ten years, Singaporean home prices have outpaced inflation by almost than 40 percentage points.




Malaysia


Neighboring Malaysia's House Price Index now stands at 235.06 as of the third quarter 2016, 135.06% higher than year-end 2004 levels.  General price levels as of the third quarter 2016 are only around 34.15% higher than their year end 2004 levels.



Thailand


In Thailand, which has been experiencing political turmoil for some time, home prices have remained essentially flat since the end of 2004. Home Prices ended 2013 with the index at 100.54, just 0.54% higher than the end of 2004, but showing a substantial recovery since the recent low of 74.08 posted in the third quarter of 2009. Since 2013, home prices have rebounded to 114.69 or 14.69% higher than its year-end 2004 levels, way below its expected inflation adjusted levels. General Price levels are 34.09% above their year-end 2004 levels. In other words, Thailand Home Prices have lagged inflation by as much as 19.40% since their year-end 2004 levels.




Indonesia

Meanwhile, in Indonesia, home prices have shown no signs of slowing down their upward trajectory.  In fact, prices are now at 146.88 or 46.88% above their first quarter 2007 levels. Inflation, however, has marched higher.  General prices are 75.92% above first quarter 2007 levels, lagging inflation by 29.04%.




Philippines


Philippine house price index stands at 218.47% as of year-end 2016 or over 118.48% above their year-end 2004 levels.  Philippine home prices have posted one of the largest 10 year gains among all the countries considered in this blog post.  Philippine home prices have outstripped inflation by more than fifty percentage points.  General prices stood at 163.35% or 63.35% above their year-end 2004 levels. Like Indonesia, Philippine home prices have so far no signs of slowing down their upward trajectory for the foreseeable future.   The question is, is this momentum sustainable?  Or will the Philippines and Indonesia follow its ASEAN neighbors, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand, in exhibiting plateauing or declining house prices?  That remains to be seen.



Saturday, March 25, 2017

Where are the Imbalances in Philippine Construction?

In our last post, Construction Gross Value as a Percentage of GDP Is at a 25 Year High! - Updated as of 4th Qtr. 2016, we came up with a chart showing this:




As of year-end 2016, this ratio stood at 12.22%, a 25-year high since 1990 and significantly higher than the average construction gross value ratio of 9.65% of GDP throughout this period. Now where are the imbalances taking place?

You'd be surprised by the results. No, not in Metro Manila or anywhere near there. As of the latest available data in 2015, Western Visayas tops the list at 23.86%, almost double the national average of 11.55%. So does Bicol, of all places. Why is that? We don't know. But we aim to find out soon enough.



Source: Philippine Statistics Authority

Friday, March 10, 2017

Construction Gross Value as a Percentage of GDP Is at a 25 Year High! - Updated as of 4th Qtr. 2016

Last May 4, 2015, we noted that Construction Gross Value (Construction GV) at 11.21% as of the year-end 2014 was already well above its historical average of 9.65% of GDP since 1990.  This ratio has run at an above average rate since 2009 and has already eaten away at the "cumulative underhang" or underinvestment in construction that has taken place since 2004, when the excessive investment in construction that took place in the mid to late 1990's was being absorbed.



As of the 4th Qtr of 2016, Construction GV as a percentage of GDP now stands higher at 12.22% of GDP - an all-time high for the past 25 years.  But the real story is that Cumulative Construction GV has gone well above equilibrium and now stands at 2.9% above equilibrium, a rise of 2.6% in just one year.  Given all the planned new projects that are already at the execution stage, the momentum in Construction Investment will continue.


Monday, March 6, 2017

US House Prices Have Climbed Upwards But So Have Incomes

In our last post, "The US Housing Bubble Has Been Fully Reflated," we discussed how US House Prices have entered bubblicious territory because because median US House Prices stood at 5.63 times median household income - two standard deviations away from the long-term average of 4.24 times median household income.  Based on what I remember of my statistics classes, the probability of this taking place is exceptionally low: only 2.5%. Since then, house prices have continued to increase:



In 2015, house prices, as evidenced by the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Index, increased by 5.03%, but so have incomes. Real Median Household Incomes increased even faster in 2015, by 5.33% to reach $56,516 at the end of 2015:




As a result, median new home prices are now only 5.11 times median household incomes in 2015, slightly less than two standard deviations above the long-term average of 4.24 times. Prices are still elevated but no longer in true bubble territory.




Source: St. Louis FRED

Friday, February 24, 2017

Philippine House Prices Have Resumed Their Relentless Upward Climb

In the last quarter of 2016, the Philippine House Price Index climbed by 2.33% to 218.47 from a low of 213.50 in the third quarter of 2016.  Overall, house prices are still 0.94% below their peak of 220.99 posted in the first quarter of 2016.



This is similar to what happened in Hong Kong, where home prices jumped 6.91% in the third quarter of 2016.

See related post:

After a 10% Market Decline in Late 2015 to Early 2016, Hong Kong Home Prices Resume Their Relentless Upward Trend in late 2016

Friday, February 17, 2017

Which Philippine Region Has the Highest Income Inequality?

We all know that Metro Manila, otherwise known as the National Capital Region (NCR), is the richest region in the Philippines.  Without question, it is the center of government, business, and finance in the entire country.

This is plainly evident in the 2015 Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FIES), where the NCR towers above the rest of the country in terms of Median Income Per Capita: Php 313,000 for NCR vs. Php 180,000 for the entire Philippines.



But which region has the highest income inequality?  One easy way to do that is by taking the ratio of the tenth decile (the top 10% in income) to the first decile (the bottom 10% in income).

From the 2015 FIES, we get this table...


Median Income Per Capita (In Thousands of Pesos)
Region Overall Bottom 10% Top 10% Top/Bottom
Philippines 180 83 652 785.54%
NCR 313 164 940 573.17%
CAR 196 93 595 639.78%
Region I - Ilocos Region 173 99 553 558.59%
Region II - Cagayan Valley 168 98 557 568.37%
Region III - Central Luzon 223 103 614 596.12%
Region IVA - Calabarzon 234 106 711 670.75%
Region IVB - MIMAROPA 142 79 608 769.62%
Region V - Bicol Region 136 88 482 547.73%
Region VI - Western Visayas 149 87 523 601.15%
Region VII - Central Visayas 160 62 607 979.03%
Region VIII - Eastern Visayas 124 72 526 730.56%
Region IX - Zamboanga Peninsula 127 73 503 689.04%
Region X - Northern Mindanao 135 68 612 900.00%
Region XI - Davao Region 166 85 571 671.76%
Region XII - SOCSKSARGEN 123 56 495 883.93%
Region XIII - Caraga 134 74 544 735.14%
ARMM 115 82 255 310.98%


and this chart:




Based on this, we can see that the region with the highest income inequality is actually Region VII - Central Visayas, composed of the three provinces of Bohol, Cebu, and Siquijor.  In terms of overall income, this region is "middle of the road." Its median income per capita was only Php 160,000 in 2015, slightly lower than the Philippines median income per capita of Php 180,000. But, in Central Visayas, the top 10% earn almost 10 times the bottom, higher than the overall Philippine ratio of 7.85 times.

NCR was actually more egalitarian, wherein the richest 10% "only" earned 5.73 times the poorest 10%.  Surprisingly, the most egalitarian region is also the poorest: ARMM, where the median per capita income is only Php 115,000 (around US$ 2,300). There, the richest 10% earn "only" around 3.11 times the poorest 10%.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Philippine Real Estate and Construction Loans Are Out of Whack As of September 2016!

It sure looks that way, judging from this chart:




It looks like Real Estate and Construction Loans as a percentage of Total Loan Portfolio (TLP) rocketed past its historical range of 12.6% to 16.6% of TLP sometime in 2011.  That ratio peaked at 20.55% as of September 2013 but has bottomed out at 18.61% of TLP as of December 2014. In 2016, this ratio has climbed back up to 20.04% as of September 2016.



Now, are we up to the levels of the previous real estate boom? (as in mid 1990s to 1997?) Honestly, we don't know.  BSP data only goes as far back as 1999 when the previous real estate bubble had already burst and the financial system was most likely deleveraging as evidenced in this chart:



Has the Philippine Real Estate Bubble Already Burst?

Is There a Real Estate Bubble in the Philippines?


Are Philippine Real Estate Loans Out of Whack?

Friday, February 3, 2017

Great Depression vs. Great Recession GDP Growth Rates - Updated As of the Fourth Quarter 2016

In March 2015, two illustrious economists, both Former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers have been duking it out on the blogosphere about secular stagnation.  In layman's terms, both are attempting to describe why does the US Recovery from the Great Recession feel so sluggish.




Although the overall collapse in REAL GDP was relatively shallow  (-3.1% from peak to trough in real terms and -0.4% in nominal terms) and took place over two years (2008 to 2009), the recovery in the seven years since then has been very anemic.  The economy reached parity with its pre-recession peak GDP in nominal terms in 2010, only three years after the Great Recession started in December 2007.   In real terms, it took an additional year, by 2011, to reach parity with its pre-recession peak.  By the 4th Qtr of 2016, the US economy is only 30.81% larger, in nominal terms, than the bottom in 2009, averaging only 3.91% growth every year since the Great Recession bottomed out. In real terms, the US economy is only 16.41% larger than the bottom in 2009, averaging only 2.19% growth every year since 2009.


The overall economic contraction during the Great Depression was much more severe (-46% in nominal terms and -27% in real terms from peak to trough) and took much longer (four years from 1930 to 1933).  In real terms, economic parity with its pre-depression peak was only reached in 1936, seven years after the start of the Great Depression. Despite the severity and depth of the economic contraction, it only took three years after the 1933 bottom for the US economy to reach parity (in real terms) with pre-depression peak in 1929.  Recovery, in terms of economic growth rates, was a lot more robust, averaging 10.9% annually during this period.  In the four years since the US economy bottomed out in 1933, the US economy was 43.5% larger than the bottom in 1933, averaging 9.44% growth per year every year. In nominal terms, the US economy only recovered its pre-depression peak only sometime in 1941, when WWII spending began in earnest.




Great Depression vs. Great Recession

Friday, January 27, 2017

After a 10% Market Decline in Late 2015 to Early 2016, Hong Kong Home Prices Resume Their Relentless Upward Trend in late 2016

After a 10.12% market correction from its peak of 350.31 in the 3rd Quarter of 2015, Hong Kong home prices bottomed out in the first half of 2016 to 314.84 (2016 Q1) and 315.30 (2016 Q2).  In the third quarter of 2016, they resumed their relentless upward trend, jumping 6.91% in just one quarter to reach 337.09% but still below the peak of 350.31 posted in the 3rd Quarter of 2015.



How low can Hong Kong Property Prices Go? Some Clues from the Not Too Distant Past

Friday, January 20, 2017

If Filipinos Are Getting Richer, Why Are There Fewer Filipino Students in the USA Every Year?

If Filipinos are getting richer, why are there fewer and fewer Filipino students studying in the USA every year?


According to the latest Open Doors Report, the number of Filipino students studying in US Colleges and Universities, at 2,866 students in 2015, is even lower than what it was in the year 2000: 3,139 students.

This runs counter to the trend in the ASEAN. Other ASEAN countries, particularly Vietnam, have been enrolling more and more of their students in US Colleges and Universities.



This happened despite a dramatic surge in Philippine GDP per capita in the last ten years.



So what happened?

The Mysterious Decline of Filipino Students in the US

Friday, January 13, 2017

At What Point Will People Not In Labor Force Break 100 Million?

At what point will people who are not in the labor force break the important psychological barrier of 100 million?

The short answer? By November 2018, just in time for the mid-term elections.



Friday, January 6, 2017

Great Depression vs. Great Recession GDP Growth Rates - Updated As of the Third Quarter 2016

In March 2015, two illustrious economists, both Former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers have been duking it out on the blogosphere about secular stagnation.  In layman's terms, both are attempting to describe why does the US Recovery from the Great Recession feel so sluggish.




Although the overall collapse in REAL GDP was relatively shallow  (-3.1% from peak to trough in real terms and -0.4% in nominal terms) and took place over two years (2008 to 2009), the recovery in the seven years since then has been very anemic.  The economy reached parity with its pre-recession peak GDP in nominal terms in 2010, only three years after the Great Recession started in December 2007.   In real terms, it took an additional year, by 2011, to reach parity with its pre-recession peak.  By the 3rd Qtr of 2016, the US economy is only 29.52% larger, in nominal terms, than the bottom in 2009, averaging only 3.76% growth every year since the Great Recession bottomed out. In real terms, the US economy is only 16.41% larger than the bottom in 2009, averaging only 2.19% growth every year since 2009.




The overall economic contraction during the Great Depression was much more severe (-46% in nominal terms and -27% in real terms from peak to trough) and took much longer (four years from 1930 to 1933).  In real terms, economic parity with its pre-depression peak was only reached in 1936, seven years after the start of the Great Depression. Despite the severity and depth of the economic contraction, it only took three years after the 1933 bottom for the US economy to reach parity (in real terms) with pre-depression peak in 1929.  Recovery, in terms of economic growth rates, was a lot more robust, averaging 10.9% annually during this period.  In the four years since the US economy bottomed out in 1933, the US economy was 43.5% larger than the bottom in 1933, averaging 9.44% growth per year every year. In nominal terms, the US economy only recovered its pre-depression peak only sometime in 1941, when WWII spending began in earnest.



Great Depression vs. Great Recession