MANILA - The Philippine economy could grow at a faster 6.9 percent this year, as tax reform spurs consumption and as the government builds new infrastructure, an economist said.
Business confidence also remains "buoyant" as construction of new roads, railways and airports attract more investors, said Nomura senior economist for Southeast Asia Euben Paracuelles.
"For 2018, we continue to forecast an increase in growth to 6.9 percent, driven in part by the impact from tax reforms, which are helping to fund public infrastructure projects while also boosting real household disposable incomes," Paracuelles said in a recent note.
Gross domestic product grew 6.7 percent in 2017, within the government's 6.5 to 7.5 percent target, and securing its place as one of Asia's fastest growing economies.
Moody's Investor Service, which rates Philippine sovereign debt at investment grade, said the Philippines will be among Southeast Asia's "standout" economies this year along with Vietnam.
Trade and domestic demand will drive GDP growth in the Philippines this year, Moody's said.