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PH Economy Expected to Pick Up in Q1

by: Karen Cayamanda

Wednesday, April 6, 2016 |

With the additional spending from the upcoming elections that will boost local consumption, the Philippine economy is expected to post a Q1 gross domestic product growth that is over five percent - higher than the five-percent growth during the first quarter of last year. This is according to National Economic Development Authority Director-General Emmanuel Esguerra.

The government has yet to release growth data for the first quarter, but Esguerra said it is definitely higher considering that 2016 is election year.

Last year, lower-than-expected government spending and exports affected the economic growth in the first three months of last year. However, it started to pick up as spending improved, together with strong household consumption. This resulted to expansion that reached 5.6 percent for Q2, 6.1 percent in Q3, and 6.3 percent in Q4. The economy posted growth of 5.8 percent in 2015, but it is still slower compared to 6.1 percent reported in 2014.

Esguerra added that the current projects in infrastructure would contribute to economic expansion. This includes the public-private partnership program.

Meanwhile, the interagency Development Budget Coordination Committee sees the economy to grow by 6.8-7.8 percent this year, from the previous forecast of 7-8 percent amid external risks and slowdown in China. Asian Development Bank also trimmed its outlook from 6.3 percent to six percent, as the country still faces a "highly uncertain" external environment. However, the country is still seen to post higher growth in the next two years compared to its peers in the region.


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