Philippine economy strongest since 1950s

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JeepneyThe Philippines in the last quarter of 2013 capped its strongest two years of growth since the 1950s, when the country enjoyed a post-war reconstruction boom backed by the US, as it lured foreign investment and put money into infrastructure.

GDP rose 7.2 per cent in 2013, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority, after gaining 6.8 per cent in 2012. That was the fastest two-year pace since 1954-1955, statistics show.

A recovery in advanced economies may help President Benigno Aquino achieve his goal of bolstering growth to as much as 8.5 per cent by 2016 as he transforms the country into a manufacturing hub. Rising exports have helped counter the impact of super typhoon Haiyan, and the central bank said it will act if needed to contain inflation expectations.

The economy expanded 6.5 per cent in the last quarter of 2013, compared with a 6.9 per cent gain in the previous three months. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas will probably raise its benchmark interest rate to 4 per cent by the fourth quarter from a record-low 3.5 per cent now. Inflation quickened to 4.1 per cent in December, the fastest pace in two years, after Haiyan struck in November 2013. The central bank forecasts 2014 price gains to average 4.5 per cent.

Aquino plans to increase spending to a record in 2014 while seeking more than $8 billion of investments in highways and airports to improve infrastructure and create jobs. San Miguel Corp., Ayala Corp. and Megawide Construction Corp. are among companies building schools, power plants and roads. The government estimates reconstruction of the typhoon-affected areas will cost $8 billion.

The Philippines won its first investment-grade scores from Moody’s Investors Service, Fitch Ratings and Standard and Poor’s last year. Aquino’s pledge to curb corruption and spur faster growth has seen foreign direct investment almost double to $2.8 billion in 2012 from 2008, World Bank data show. Consumer spending rose 5.6 per cent last quarter from a year earlier, according to today’s report. Investment gained 5.7 percent, while manufacturing increased 12.3 per cent.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Philippines in the last quarter of 2013 capped its strongest two years of growth since the 1950s, when the country enjoyed a post-war reconstruction boom backed by the US, as it lured foreign investment and put money into infrastructure.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

JeepneyThe Philippines in the last quarter of 2013 capped its strongest two years of growth since the 1950s, when the country enjoyed a post-war reconstruction boom backed by the US, as it lured foreign investment and put money into infrastructure.

GDP rose 7.2 per cent in 2013, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority, after gaining 6.8 per cent in 2012. That was the fastest two-year pace since 1954-1955, statistics show.

A recovery in advanced economies may help President Benigno Aquino achieve his goal of bolstering growth to as much as 8.5 per cent by 2016 as he transforms the country into a manufacturing hub. Rising exports have helped counter the impact of super typhoon Haiyan, and the central bank said it will act if needed to contain inflation expectations.

The economy expanded 6.5 per cent in the last quarter of 2013, compared with a 6.9 per cent gain in the previous three months. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas will probably raise its benchmark interest rate to 4 per cent by the fourth quarter from a record-low 3.5 per cent now. Inflation quickened to 4.1 per cent in December, the fastest pace in two years, after Haiyan struck in November 2013. The central bank forecasts 2014 price gains to average 4.5 per cent.

Aquino plans to increase spending to a record in 2014 while seeking more than $8 billion of investments in highways and airports to improve infrastructure and create jobs. San Miguel Corp., Ayala Corp. and Megawide Construction Corp. are among companies building schools, power plants and roads. The government estimates reconstruction of the typhoon-affected areas will cost $8 billion.

The Philippines won its first investment-grade scores from Moody’s Investors Service, Fitch Ratings and Standard and Poor’s last year. Aquino’s pledge to curb corruption and spur faster growth has seen foreign direct investment almost double to $2.8 billion in 2012 from 2008, World Bank data show. Consumer spending rose 5.6 per cent last quarter from a year earlier, according to today’s report. Investment gained 5.7 percent, while manufacturing increased 12.3 per cent.

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