FMIC, UA&P ex­pect eco­nomic growth to pick up this se­mes­ter

Business World - - FRONT PAGE - Melissa Luz T. Lopez

ECO­NOMIC GROWTH will likely pick up this se­mes­ter as ex­ports have so far main­tained a dou­ble-digit pace of in­crease and as govern­ment starts more in­fra­struc­ture projects, an­a­lysts at First Metro In­vest­ments Corp. (FMIC) and the Univer­sity of Asia and the Pa­cific (UA&P) said in their lat­est joint re­port.

“While the econ­omy’s growth pace im­proved to 6.5% in Q2, early data sug­gest fur­ther im­prove­ments in the sec­ond half,” read the Septem­ber is­sue of The Mar­ket Call that was e-mailed to jour­nal­ists yes­ter­day.

“Na­tional govern­ment spend­ing, es­pe­cially on in­fra­struc­ture, con­tin­ued its dou­ble-digit growth pace in July… while the sharp 17.6% gain in BIR (Bu­reau of In­ter­nal Rev­enue) tax col­lec­tions for the same sug­gests bet­ter sales and prof­its in Q2 that should carry over into Q3 spend­ing.”

Philip­pine gross do­mes­tic prod­uct ex­panded faster in the sec­ond quar­ter than the 6.4% climb in Jan­uary-March, lead­ing to a 6.45% av­er­age for last se­mes­ter that ap­proaches the govern­ment’s 6.5-7.5% full-year growth goal for 2017.

State in­fra­struc­ture spend­ing and other cap­i­tal out­lays grew by 25% to P48.4 bil­lion in July from the P38.7 bil­lion recorded in the same month last year, even as it was 6.7% smaller than June’s P51.9 bil­lion.

The Philip­pine Statis­tics Author­ity will re­port third-quar­ter growth data on Nov. 16.

“We be­lieve that the rapid spend­ing on in­fra­struc­ture and the strong do­mes­tic de­mand will con­tinue to buoy the econ­omy. The con­tin­ued im­prove­ment in ex­ports, cou­pled with higher in­flows from OFW (over­seas Filipino worker) re­mit­tances, should more­over push fur­ther the coun­try’s eco­nomic ex­pan­sion,” The Mar­ket Call read. “Ex­ter­nal trade is also ex­pected to re­main up­beat for the rest of the year, with ex­ports of goods seen to keep grow­ing in dou­ble dig­its amid stronger de­mand from offshore mar­kets, par­tic­u­larly the United States, with im­prov­ing growth prospects driv­ing con­sump­tion.” —

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