WE are almost halfway through November and many families are now preparing for the holidays, while some have actually started the celebrations with early get-togethers. According to Fitch Ratings, the country will maintain economic stability in the latter part of the year due to its “strong medium-term growth prospects, slowly declining debt, macroeconomic stability, and sound economic policies.”
On the news today is the announcement that there will be a rollback in the prices of gasoline in the coming days. In many places around the country, we see new establishments opening their doors in time to welcome the Christmas shoppers. Ayala Malls, for example, is opening a 10,000-square-meter commercial district later this week in Vermosa. It seems that things are rosy on the outside, as far as the local economy is concerned.
The inflation rate dropped to 4.9 percent in October, with Fitch Ratings predicting that it will further dip to 3.5 percent by 2025. Still part of its projection, Fitch says the country’s gross domestic product is seen surpassing 6 percent over the medium term, as government debt declines to 54 percent of the 2025 GDP.
Amid all this, some Pinoys are telling a different story. Many are still lamenting the soaring prices of basic commodities like eggs, vegetables, fruits, rice, and others. It is a fact that the cost of many agricultural products and prime commodities saw sharp increases this year. Some families are having a hard time making ends meet due to a general decrease in income and economic opportunities.
While there are only roughly six weeks to go before Christmas, there’s still a bit of time to build a holiday budget. According to financial experts, it’s crucial to realistically look at what one can afford before making any decision to pay for anything—be it gifts, decor, travel, food, and so on. The key, really, is to plan well and have a realistic list. This way, we can avoid impulse or unplanned buys.
Don’t go into debt just to have merry holiday celebrations, the experts counsel. That includes being careful with how often you use your credit card or what you add to your virtual cart. Take some time to look around and find bargains before committing to purchasing anything. It wouldn’t hurt to support small businesses and local enterprises when making your shopping and grocery lists.
In the past, we all saw a rise in online shopping, with platforms like Lazada and Shopee clogging up delivery schedules. Now that people are almost back to normal as far as mobility is concerned, shoppers, especially the younger set (read: Gen Z), prefer to buy from stores and malls for the “lived experience.” This is an opportunity for businesses to cater to this market’s shopping preferences.