Philippines’ outlook positive in short term
MANILA: The Philippines’ economic growth could exceed the World Bank’s projection of 6.2% for the next two years if President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration further ramps up infrastructure spending as planned, the lender said yesterday.
But the three-month-old government faces policy challenges or risks, such as the need to dispel lingering uncertainty about its policy priorities, deliver on its fiscal reform programme, and accelerate structural reforms to reduce poverty, it said.
“The Philippines’ short-term growth prospects remain positive despite a number of medium-term risks and policy challenges,” the World Bank said in its Philippine Economic Update.
The bank kept its 2016 gross domestic product growth forecast for the Philippines unchanged at 6.4% and described its 6.2% growth projection for 2017 and 2018 as “a conservative forecast with significant upside risks”.
World Bank economist Birgit Hansl told a media briefing that recent volatility in local financial markets was normal because lingering uncertainty over the administration’s reform agenda could be expected to make investors cautious.
“That’s why it’s such an important shortterm policy priority to dispel the uncertainty, to just say, ‘look, we mean business, this is what we’re going to do’,” she said. – Reuters