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Gross national savings up in 2022 as companies delay expansion

GROSS national savings amounted to P4.90 trillion in 2022, rising 26.6%, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported on Thursday.

At current prices, gross domestic product (GDP) and gross national income (GNI) rose 13.5% and 16%, respectively. Meanwhile, household spending increased 14.5% to P16.72 trillion while government spending amounted to P3.31 trillion, up 9.3%.

In 2022, real GDP and GNI grew 7.6% and 9.9%, respectively.

Gross national savings were equivalent to 21% of GNI in 2022, against the 19.3% posted in 2021 and the 23% reported in 2020.

Gross national disposable income rose 15.9% to P24.93 trillion. The indicator is derived by subtracting GNI from the net difference between “current transfers” to and from the rest of the world.

Accounting for population, net disposable income per capita was P223,446 in 2022, against the P195,136 posted in 2021.

Non-financial corporations posted gross savings of P4.16 trillion, followed by financial corporations with P1.54 trillion. General government and households including non-profit institutions serving households had negative savings of P8.96 billion and P787.64 billion, respectively.

“Higher gross savings in 2022 could be due to deferment of expansion plans by businesses…. savings of corporations lifted the country’s gross savings,” Domini S. Velasquez, chief economist at China Banking Corp. said in a Viber message.

Ms. Velasquez said higher input costs as well as crude oil, food, and construction materials mainly affected business decisions.

HSBC Economist for ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Aris Dacanay said gross national savings was still below pre-pandemic levels, with a higher investment rate resulting in a savings-investment gap.

“We can see in the data that household gross savings fell further by 23% in 2022. This is partly due to pent-up demand and partly due to resiliency, as households dipped into their savings to get by high inflation,” Mr. Dacanay said in an e-mail.

Headline inflation was 6.1% in May, against 5.4% a year earlier. It was the 14th straight month that inflation had breached the central bank’s 2-4% goal.

Ms. Velasquez expects gross savings to start reflecting factors like “companies undertaking more investment.”

“An increase in government spending will also contribute to lower gross national savings,” Ms. Velasquez added.

The 2024 national budget is expected to come in at P5.768 trillion, up 9.5% from this year, according to the Department of Budget and Management.

Meanwhile, government spending is expected to hit P5.564 trillion in 2024, up 6.4%, the Development Budget Coordination Committee said.

The difference between gross national disposable income and the combination of household and government final consumption yields gross national savings. — Mariedel Irish U. Catilogo

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