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The Philippines => Philippine Daily News => Topic started by: Lorenzo on December 15, 2007, 08:48:05 AM

Title: The Philippines Surges Ahead: Economy looks strong
Post by: Lorenzo on December 15, 2007, 08:48:05 AM
By Darwin G. Amojelar, Reporter

The Philippine economy this year will record its highest growth rate in over two decades, Asian Development Bank (ADB) said in a report released on Thursday.

In its December Asia Economic Monitor report, ADB raised to 7 percent its projection for the growth of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). In its July Monitor report, the forecast was 5.8 percent.

GDP refers to the final value of goods and services produced in the country in a year.

The figure for this month was above the government’s target range of between 6.1 percent and 6.7 percent and the highest growth rate since 1986 when the economy grew 7.7 percent.

ADB said the growth was mainly fueled by government spending in the elections and on infrastructure. It added that such expenditures also lifted the economies of three other countries in the region.

“Election-related government spending in the Philippines and infrastructure program disbursements in [Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand] provided an additional boost to consumption and investment,” the report said.

Asia Economic Monitor is a semiannual review of East Asia’s growth, financial vulnerability, and emerging policy issues.

At end-September, the Philippine economy grew 6.6 percent, compared to 5.1 percent in the same period last year.

For 2008, ADB said the Philippines’ GDP growth will remain high about 6.4 percent—although off the post-crisis peak reached this year—on strong gains in net exports, private consumption and government spending.

In July, it forecast the country’s GDP to grow 5.7 percent.

In the Philippines, the regional lender said, the appreciation of the peso in real terms—mainly credited to strong capital inflows combined with a surge in overseas workers’ remittances—has hurt the export competitiveness of the manufacturing sector and has seen exports slowing.

The remittances from the migrant workers, however, have pushed private consumption, it added.

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