The wearing apparel retail industry
C&C VIEWS - Ed F. Limtingco (The Philippine Star) - November 12, 2014 - 12:00am

According to the Institute for Development and Econometric Analysis, Incorporated latest Industry Trends, population growth figures into the increase in demand for wearing apparel goods. In 2014, the country already hit the 100 million mark. Based on the data from National Statistical Coordination Board, the Philippines is expected to reach a population of 102 million in 2015, and 110 million in 2020. With these projections, the demand for clothing, as a basic necessity, is deemed to ride along the population boom.

Much like population growth, income growth also results into pulling up of demand for wearing apparel. Data from NSCB shows that the local economy expanded by 7.2 percent in 2013, and grew by 6.4 percent growth rate in the second quarter of 2014. Economic growth is primarily driven by strong domestic consumption, which accounted for 69 percent of GDP in 2013, lower than the previous year. Capital Investments remain the same as previous year with 22 percent GDP share. Government consumption rounds up the list with 11 percent share, higher than previous year.

Consumption is usually prop up by remittances from overseas Filipino workers, which posted record high USD 25.1 billion revenues in 2013 and the growth of the business process outsourcing industry, which accumulated revenues amounting to USD 15.5 billion in 2013. Progress is deemed to go on in 2014, led by the rapid pace in construction hitting 46 percent growth rate in 2014, and BPO sector.

On the other hand Per IDEA, driven by the “bearish outlook” of the economy, the consumers, in general, are wary over certain issues. To name a few are inflation, the controversy around the Disbursement Acceleration Program or DAP and the Priority Development Assistance Fund or PDAF, and higher household expenses. Stable income flow, employment opportunities and business climate count among relevant concerns. As such, the confidence index (CI) is dragged down to –26.3 percent in the third quarter of 2014 from –17.3 percent in the previous quarter.

In the same vein, the savings ratio also experienced a slowdown in the third quarter of 2014. The number of households with outstanding savings fell to 28.9 percent from 30.3 percent in the third quarter. In terms of income groups, the upper-tiered have increased savings, the middle-tiered group have decreased savings while those with low tiered said they have a steady hoard of cash. Data from Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas shows that almost two-thirds, or 65.2 percent of household savers have bank deposit accounts, while 23.5 percent kept their savings at home and 11.4 percent put their money in cooperatives (paluwagan) and other credit/loan associations, as well as in government non-financial institutions, such as the Social Security System, Pag-IBIG Fund and Philippine Health Insurance Corp.

A portion of savings goes to the following needs: emergencies, retirement, health and hospitalization, education, business capital and investment. The country's economic growth continued in 2014 after cashing in significant gains in the first 2 quarters. The country expanded by 6.4 percent growth rate in the second quarter of 2014 even further than the initial forecast of 5 to 6 percent growth rate for the said period. This comes as international retailers are struggling to expand amid a still subdued global economy.

BANGKO SENTRAL CAPITAL INVESTMENTS DEVELOPMENT AND ECONOMETRIC ANALYSIS DISBURSEMENT ACCELERATION PROGRAM FUND AND PHILIPPINE HEALTH INSURANCE CORP GROWTH INDUSTRY TRENDS NATIONAL STATISTICAL COORDINATION BOARD PRIORITY DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE FUND SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM
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