• World Bank keeps PH 2016 growth at 6.4%

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    But downgrades global rate to 2.4%

    The World Bank Group is keeping the 6.4 percent gross domestic product (GDP) growth it had forecast for the Philippines this year while revising that for global growth downward to 2.4 percent. It also suggested that the growth rate in the East Asia and Pacific region will also slow down to 6.3 percent.

    Among Association of Southeast Asian Nations economies, the World Bank is of the view that the Philippines and Vietnam have the strongest growth prospects.

    These projections and views are in its new Global Economic Prospects (GEP) report launched this month.

    The bank’s projection for the Philippines is below the government’s 6.8 to 7.8 target but well above the 5.8 percent growth achieved in 2015.

    “In the Philippines, growth is projected to firm to 6.4 percent in 2016, with an accelerated implementation of public-private partnership projects and strong domestic demand,” it said.

    The country benefits from diversified export markets and low global commodity prices, the report said.

    The report also notes that economic growth in China is expected to ease to 6.7 percent, as projected in January, while growth in the region excluding China is projected at 4.8 percent, unchanged from 2015.

    Rising investment in several large economies (Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand), and strong consumption supported by low commodity prices (Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam), the report said is expected to support growth in the region.

    The report also said that commodity exporting emerging market and developing
    economies have struggled to adapt to lower prices for oil and other key commodities, and this accounts for half of the downward revision. Growth in these economies is projected to advance at a meager 0.4 percent pace this year, a downward revision of 1.2 percentage points from the January outlook, it said.

    “This sluggish growth underscores why it’s critically important for countries to pursue policies that will boost economic growth and improve the lives of those living in extreme poverty,” said WB Group President Jim Yong Kim.

    “Economic growth remains the most important driver of poverty reduction, and that’s why we’re very concerned that growth is slowing sharply in commodity-exporting developing countries due to depressed commodity prices,” he added.

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