From ‘sick’ to ‘strong’: Philippine economy now fastest growing in Asia

Characterized by steady growth, contained inflation rates, and good investment and credit ratings, the Philippine economy is seen to sustain gains in 2017.

“We are navigating from a position of strength.”

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Center for Monetary and Financial Policy Director Veronica Bayangos affirmed views that the Philippine economy has been seeing steady growth the past quarters; with reference to latest reports, the Philippines is presently the fastest growing economy in Asia.
 
In a forum on the Philippine economy organized by the Center for Philippine Futuristics Studies and Management, Inc., Dr. Roberto F. De Ocampo, OBE, former Finance secretary and main speaker at the event, asserted that the country will continue to grow in 2017. His fearless forecast based on the latest national economic performance grade: gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of 6.5 percent and inflation rate not exceeding four percent.

According to Dr. De Ocampo, increased consumption, mostly from the private sector, has fueled the spurt. Among other key contributors were global remittances from the overseas Filipino workers and sustained gains from the services and manufacturing sectors. Mr. Aekapol Chongvilaivan of the Asian Development Bank also cited the increased export sales as a factor for the significant economic growth.

On the other hand, the forum speakers also noted that there are areas that still need attention. One of which is the country’s underemployment and unemployment, standing at 19.7 and 5.8 percent, respectively . Dr. De Ocampo also stated that foreign direct investments have been anemic and big infrastructure projects, which can up spending and further economic growth immensely, has thus far remained as mere plans.

The Philippine economy has been laggard the last three decades; it was tagged as the ‘sick man of Asia’ in the 1980s. However, economic ratings started to improve in recent years, and in 2015, there was confidence that the Philippines has become the new ‘strong man of Asia.’
 
Last November 18, the country posted a 7.1% growth rate for the third quarter of 2016, the highest in the region. India, which was the fastest growing Asian economy the past quarters, is yet to release data.

Source: Philippine Statistics Authority

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