Philippines posts impressive economic growth

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The Philippine economy grew 6.6 per cent year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2016, putting the Southeast Asian nation among the world’s fastest-growing countries in the period as strong domestic demand helped it shrug off political risks at home and abroad.

Data published on January 26 by the Philippine Statistics Authority showed the economy grew by 6.8 per cent for the entire year 2016, topping China which saw full-year GDP growth of 6.7 per cent.

According to Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia of the National Economic and Development Authority, economic growth in the Philippines was backed by higher investment and consumption and was “testament that our economy remains robust and is growing at a healthy and steady pace.”

Key drivers of growth for the fourth quarter were manufacturing, trade, real estate, renting and business activities, while the industrial sector saw the fastest growth at 7.6 per cent year-on-year.

Looking ahead, the World Bank forecasts continued expansion of more than 6 per cent annually for at least until 2019 as the Philippines is currently undergoing a growth period similar to Malaysia and Thailand in the 1990s when those countries underwent a broad industrialisation.

The region’s former powerhouses are giving way to newcomers like the Philippines and Vietnam, whose younger populations and rising middle classes help lure manufacturers and other investors. Observers even warn that particularly Thailand with its self-destructive political feuds and the lack of clear economic impulses from a moderately competent governing junta is literally begging for taking over the reins as the new “lame duck” or “sick man” of Southeast Asia which was a title earlier associated with the Philippines.

The outlook for the Philippine economy is double-edged, though. On the one hand, President Rodrigo Duterte introduced a 10-point economic plan last June which includes tax reforms, liberalising foreign direct investments and massively increasing infrastructure spending to prop up domestic growth and fuel private consumption, which accounts for 70 per cent of the economy.

But he also alienated long-time political and economic ally U.S. by cutting ties and pushing for greater investment from China, Russia and the Middle East. This could be a threat for the Philippines massive Business Process Outsourcing industry and also bring uncertainty for the millions of Filipinos living and working in the U.S. and remitting dollars back home.

 

 

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The Philippine economy grew 6.6 per cent year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2016, putting the Southeast Asian nation among the world’s fastest-growing countries in the period as strong domestic demand helped it shrug off political risks at home and abroad. Data published on January 26 by the Philippine Statistics Authority showed the economy grew by 6.8 per cent for the entire year 2016, topping China which saw full-year GDP growth of 6.7 per cent. According to Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia of the National Economic and Development Authority, economic growth in the Philippines was backed by higher investment...

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Philippine economy grew 6.6 per cent year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2016, putting the Southeast Asian nation among the world’s fastest-growing countries in the period as strong domestic demand helped it shrug off political risks at home and abroad.

Data published on January 26 by the Philippine Statistics Authority showed the economy grew by 6.8 per cent for the entire year 2016, topping China which saw full-year GDP growth of 6.7 per cent.

According to Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia of the National Economic and Development Authority, economic growth in the Philippines was backed by higher investment and consumption and was “testament that our economy remains robust and is growing at a healthy and steady pace.”

Key drivers of growth for the fourth quarter were manufacturing, trade, real estate, renting and business activities, while the industrial sector saw the fastest growth at 7.6 per cent year-on-year.

Looking ahead, the World Bank forecasts continued expansion of more than 6 per cent annually for at least until 2019 as the Philippines is currently undergoing a growth period similar to Malaysia and Thailand in the 1990s when those countries underwent a broad industrialisation.

The region’s former powerhouses are giving way to newcomers like the Philippines and Vietnam, whose younger populations and rising middle classes help lure manufacturers and other investors. Observers even warn that particularly Thailand with its self-destructive political feuds and the lack of clear economic impulses from a moderately competent governing junta is literally begging for taking over the reins as the new “lame duck” or “sick man” of Southeast Asia which was a title earlier associated with the Philippines.

The outlook for the Philippine economy is double-edged, though. On the one hand, President Rodrigo Duterte introduced a 10-point economic plan last June which includes tax reforms, liberalising foreign direct investments and massively increasing infrastructure spending to prop up domestic growth and fuel private consumption, which accounts for 70 per cent of the economy.

But he also alienated long-time political and economic ally U.S. by cutting ties and pushing for greater investment from China, Russia and the Middle East. This could be a threat for the Philippines massive Business Process Outsourcing industry and also bring uncertainty for the millions of Filipinos living and working in the U.S. and remitting dollars back home.

 

 

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