PH to be ‘fastest-growing’ economy in Asean – WB

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Philippines will continue to outpace many of its Southeast Asian neighbors in terms of economic growth, the World Bank said as it released estimates for this year up to 2020.

“The Philippines will continue to be the fastest-growing economy in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) despite some stabilization of investment growth,” the Washington-based lender said its Global Economic Prospects report released on Wednesday.

Gross domestic product (GDP) growth is expected to hit 6.7 percent this year and the next before moderating to 6.5 percent in 2020. The estimates, however, are all lower than the government’s 7.0-8.0 target.

On average, the World Bank expects Philippine GDP to grow by 6.6 percent from 2018 to 2020, higher than Thailand’s 3.5 percent, Vietnam’s 6.5 percent, Indonesia’s 5.3 percent and Malaysia’s 4.9 percent.


Higher growth, however, was forecast for Cambodia (6.7 percent), Laos (6.8 percent) and Myanmar (6.8 percent).

The World Bank earlier upgraded its 2017 Philippine growth forecast to 6.7 percent from 6.6 percent, taking into account a stronger-than-expected third quarter expansion.

The updated forecast, which falls within the government’s 6.5-7.5 percent target, is lower than last year’s actual 6.9-percent growth.

The multilateral lender said that continued global economic recovery had led to higher than expected export growth.

The economy expanded by a better-than-expected 6.9 percent in the third quarter. Results for the second quarter were also revised upwards and year-to-date growth, at 6.7 percent, has kept the country on track to hit the 6.5-7.5 percent target.

A simultaneous recovery in major advanced economies and in developing economies is boosting global trade, the World Bank said. For the Philippines, this means stronger demand from main trading partners such as the United States, Japan and Europe.

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