Philip­pine eco­nomic growth quick­ens to 5.6 per­cent in the sec­ond quar­ter

The China Post - - WORLD BUSINESS -

Philip­pine eco­nomic growth quick­ened in the sec­ond quar­ter, the gov­ern­ment said Thurs­day, plac­ing the coun­try in a bet­ter po­si­tion to weather the global fall­out from China’s eco­nomic woes.

Of­fi­cials cred­ited the growth to “pru­dent fis­cal man­age­ment” and poli­cies pur­sued by Pres­i­dent Benigno Aquino, which has helped trans­form the coun­try into one of the fastest-grow­ing economies in the re­gion.

Boosted by higher gov­ern­ment spend­ing, the April to June gross do­mes­tic prod­uct ( GDP) grew 5.6 per­cent, out­pac­ing the 5.0-per­cent growth in the pre­vi­ous quar­ter, which was the low­est in three years, Eco­nomic Plan­ning Sec­re­tary Arse­nio Bal­isacan said.

De­spite the re­bound, Bal­isacan said the econ­omy was likely to grow from 6.0 to 6.5 per­cent for the full year, be­low the gov­ern­ment’s 7.0 to 8.0 per­cent tar­get.

Sec­ond quar­ter growth was also slower than 6.7 per­cent dur­ing the same pe­riod last year, data showed.

Bal­isacan and other of­fi­cials stressed that the growth showed the coun­try could weather the global fi­nan­cial tur­moil.

“Our eco­nomic fun­da­men­tals are still strong. We have to make sure we are mind­ful of the chal­lenges we are fac­ing,” Bal­isacan told re­porters.

“The qual­ity and the rate of growth of the Philip­pine econ­omy gives some as­sur­ance that with greater vig­i­lance... we can with­stand the volatile mar­kets over­seas,” he added.

Pres­i­dent Aquino’s spokesman Ed­win Lacierda said the growth was due to po­lit­i­cal sta­bil­ity “along with pru­dent fis­cal man­age­ment.”

“This sta­bil­ity has helped the Philip­pines weather ex­ter­nal shocks, prov­ing once again that good gov­er­nance is good eco­nom­ics,” he added.

Fi­nance Sec­re­tary Ce­sar Puri- sima said in a state­ment that “ro­bust do­mes­tic de­mand,” along with the re­mit­tances from 10 mil­lion Filipinos work­ing abroad and the boom­ing busi­ness process out­sourc­ing in­dus­try, were all lift­ing growth.

With the sec­ond quar­ter num­bers in, Bar­clays said it cut its 2015 growth forecast for the Philip­pines to 5.5 per­cent, but said Bal­isacan’s ex­pec­ta­tion of 6.0 to 6.5 per­cent growth was “re­al­is­tic.”

“Over­all, de­spite the cut in our growth forecast, we ex­pect the Philip­pines to con­tinue to out­per­form the other ASEAN economies, with the coun­try set to be the fastest grow­ing econ­omy among the ma­jor ASEAN economies for a third con­sec­u­tive year in 2015,” Bar­clays re­gional economist Rahul Ba­jo­ria said in an e-mail.

But he warned that gov­ern­ment spend­ing still had not risen fast enough and ex­ports had been weak, weigh­ing down growth.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Taiwan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.