Philippines under Duterte among the fastest growing economies in Asia

MANILA, Philippines - The economy of the Philippines under the Duterte administration remains to be one of the fastest growing economies in Asia despite the slowed expansion during the last three months of 2016 brought about by the lack of election spending.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte
Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. Photo Credit: Facebook/Rody Duterte
The country’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 6.6% in the fourth quarter from a revised 7% during the previous quarter. Government data revealed that the average growth for the entire year was 6.8%, while the median of the Reuters poll predicted economic growth at 6.5%.

"The 6.6 percent growth in the last quarter of 2016, backed by higher investment and consumption, is testament that our economy remains robust and is growing at a healthy and steady pace," Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia told reporters.

Pernia believes that it was “highly likely” that the 6.5 to 7.5% target growth target for 2017 will be attained. Biggest risks to growth include typhoon and extreme weather events followed by policy shifts abroad, particularly in the US, according to Pernia.

To lift 6 million Filipino people from poverty and bring the country to upper middle class status, President Rodrigo Duterte aims to grow the economy by 50% in real terms during his six years term in the office.

Pernia advised investors to adopt a “wait and see” attitude during the last quarter of an election year.

During the last quarter last year, investments accelerated to 15%, private consumption slowed to 6.3%, while infrastructure spending grew 23%. Services increased by 7.4%, while industry grew by 7.6%. On the other hand, damage from Typhoons Karen and Lawin caused the agriculture sector contract.

Meanwhile, China’s GDP increased by 6.8% in the last quarter. Growth in India and Indonesia is expected to slow down by 6% and 5.1%, respectively, in the same period.

--Mini, The Summit Express

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