by: Sarah Joson
Tuesday, October 4, 2016 |
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) raised their 2016 growth forecasts for the Philippine economy.
The IMF recently released a statement, saying despite external risks, the outlook for the Philippine economy is still favorable. The financial institution shared its improved growth projection of 6.4 percent, from the initial six percent for this year.
On the other hand, the Duterte government is targeting a “conservative” 6-7 percent growth for the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), even if a 6.9 percent growth was recorded during the first half of this year.
The IMF even pointed out that threats to the growth forecasts are minimal, and noted that Philippine officials will be able to address challenges with the appropriate policies if there will be any as the country is backed by strong fundamentals.
In line with that, Richard Bolt, ADB Country Director for the Philippines, explained the updated Asian Development Outlook 2016, wherein it was indicated that their improved forecast of 6.4 percent from six percent for the Philippines was mainly fuelled by the Duterte administration’s plans to increase infrastructure spending, the solid foundation provided by favorable macroeconomic fundamentals, and strong, wide-ranging domestic demand.
The executive was also asked if the current leader’s debatable statements against the US and EU leaders and the continuous battle against illegal drugs which are allegedly causing extra judicial killings are rocking the nation’s economic boat. He said they haven’t seen a slowdown in investment figures and added that growth projection remains on the positive side of the spectrum.
Bolt highlighted the Duterte government’s 10-point socioeconomic agenda which seeks to cut poverty rate from 26 percent to 17 percent by 2020. He added that while poverty rate remains high, the government’s other plans are on the right track in addressing issues which include making it easier for foreign investors to do business in the Philippines, higher infrastructure spending, and strategies to further decrease red tape in the commerce segment.
Bolt stated that the key to minimizing risks to the Philippine’s growth outlook is moving forward with the reform agenda.
As for the IMF, its executive directors lauded Philippine officials for their continued efforts to carry out strong macroeconomic management, resulting to robust growth and low inflation.