Phl growth fastest in SEA, 2nd world­wide – IMF

The Philippine Star - - FRONT PAGE - By LAWRENCE AGCAOILI

The Philip­pines is ex­pected to be the fastest grow­ing econ­omy in South­east Asia and sec­ond fastest in the world over the next two years as it re­mains re­silient to ex­ter­nal shocks, ac­cord­ing to the lat­est World Eco­nomic Out­look re­leased by the In­ter­na­tional Mone­tary Fund (IMF).

YongZheng Yang, IMF res­i­dent rep­re­sen­ta­tive for the Philip­pines, said the mul­ti­lat­eral lender has re­tained its gross do­mes­tic prod­uct (GDP) growth pro­jec­tion for the Philip­pines at 6.7 per­cent for 2018 and 6.8 per­cent for 2019.

“As you may know, these growth fore­casts are among the high­est in the Asia-Pa­cific re­gion,” Yang said af­ter the IMF re­leased its lat­est eco­nomic out­look.

The IMF’s lat­est growth fore­cast for the Philip­pines is the fastest among mem­bers of the As­so­ci­a­tion of South­east Asian Na­tions (ASEAN) and the sec­ond fastest in the world next to In­dia’s 7.4 per­cent growth for this year and 7.8 per­cent for next year.

China is ex­pected to grow by 6.6 per­cent in 2018 and 6.4 per­cent in 2019, while Viet­nam may grow by 6.6 per­cent in 2018 and 6.5 per­cent in 2019.

Based on the lat­est WEO, the ASEAN-5, which is com­posed of the Philip­pines, Viet­nam, In­done­sia, Thai­land and Malaysia, may grow by 5.3 per­cent this year and 5.4 per­cent next year.

Yang said the strong growth fore­cast for the Philip­pines would be fu­eled by ro­bust do­mes­tic de­mand and higher in­vest­ments.

“We be­lieve the Philip­pine econ­omy will con­tinue to grow strongly, driven by solid do­mes­tic de­mand and pub­lic in­vest­ment,” Yang said.

Yang said the strong global growth of 3.9 per­cent for 2018 and 2019 would also pro­vide a fa­vor­able ex­ter­nal en­vi­ron­ment for the Philip­pines’s ex­port sec­tor, re­mit­tances, as well as the busi­ness process out­sourc­ing (BPO) sec­tor.

“Strong do­mes­tic re­form mo­men­tum, in­clud­ing in the area of tax­a­tion and cap­i­tal mar­ket de­vel­op­ment, bodes well for pri­vate sec­tor in­vest­ment, in­clud­ing for­eign di­rect in­vest­ments,” he said.

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