World Bank sees 5.8% Philippine economic growth in 2015

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The World Bank has projected a 5.8 percent economic growth for the Philippines in 2015 and 6.4 percent in 2016.

The Philippine economy grew by 5.6 percent in the second quarter of 2015, lower than its growth of 6.7 percent in the same period in 2014.

In its latest East Asia and Pacific Update, the World Bank has noted that the Philippines is among the strongest performers in the Asian region, bucking the trend, because of strong fundamentals.

The report noted that lower 2015 growth takes into account the relatively weak first half growth brought about by slow government spending, weak exports, and the initial impact of the El Niño phenomenon.

In contrast, the World Bank expects the second half growth to improve as government ramps up spending.

Accelerated implementation of public-private partnership projects and the continuing effect of lower food inflation and declining oil prices are expected to support growth.

Motoo Konishi, World Bank country director for the Philippines says the Philippines can ensure a more inclusive growth path by accelerating reforms to secure property rights, promote more competition, and simplify regulations to trigger more private investments by firms of all sizes, while sustainably ramping up public investments in infrastructure, education, health, and social protection.

The Philippine economy grew by 5.3 percent in the first half of 2015. The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) believes that the domestic economy could still hit the target of at least 6 percent real gross domestic product (GDP) growth this year.

Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan says the projected GDP growth would make the Philippines as one of the best performers among the Asian emerging economies.  “As advanced economies are expected to recover next year, Philippine economic growth could accelerate towards 7 percent next year,” says Secretary Balisacan.