PH economy to remain as ‘fastest-growing’ in ASEAN, says World Bank

In terms of economic growth, the World Bank (WB) expects that the Philippines will continue to outpace its neighboring countries in Southeast Asia for the next three years.

In its January 2018 Global Economic Prospects report released Wednesday, January 10, the Washington-based lender said it expects the Philippines to sustain robust economic growth even as public investments are seen to be slowing down.

“The Philippines will continue to be the fastest-growing economy in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), despite some stabilization of investment growth,” WB stated in its report.

The WB projected the Philippines’ gross domestic product (GDP) to grow by 6.7 percent in 2018 and 2019, before moderating to 6.5 percent in 2020.

On average, the WB expects the country’s GDP to grow by 6.6 percent from 2018 to 2020.

The forecasts, however, were below the government’s target range of 7-8 percent annual GDP growth from 2018 to 2022.

Last month, the WB has upgraded its 2017 growth projection for the Philippines as part of its “quarterly forecast exercise to reflect recent economic trends.”

From the previous estimate of 6.6 percent, the WB raised its 2017 economic growth forecast for the Philippines to a stronger 6.7 percent.

“If investment growth accelerates faster along with increased spending in public infrastructure, economic expansion can be even higher in 2017 and 2018 and exceed the current projection of 6.7 percent,” said Birgit Hansl, WB Lead Economist for the Philippines.

The Philippines posted a 6.9 percent GDP growth for in the third quarter of 2017,  which was higher than the 6.5 percent growth in the second quarter of 2017, and of the 6.4 percent posted in the first quarter.

The government is slated to release the country’s 2017 fourth-quarter and full-year GDP performance on January 25.

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