Economy to sustain robust growth due to 'build build build,' analysts say

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 04 2017 10:46 AM

MANILA - The Philippine economy will likely sustain its momentum as one of the fastest-growing in Asia, driven in part by spending from the government's P8-trillion infrastructure program, analysts said Tuesday.

Gross domestic product could expand "close to 7 percent" this year and next year, an "impressive" growth rate compared to the rest of the world, said ING Bank chief economist for Asia Pacific Rob Carnell.

"You got genuine growth coming from real reasons," Carnell told ANC's Market Edge with Cathy Yang.

Nomura maintained its growth forecasts of 6.7 percent this year and 6.8 percent in 2018 due to robust exports and the government's plan to build new roads, bridges and airports, according to its senior economist, Euben Paracuelles.

"I don’t see any reason to believe that at this point, things have changed materially to cause us to cite downside risks to our otherwise bullish forecast," Paracuelles told Market Edge.

Credit Suisse cut its growth forecast this year for the Philippines to 6 percent from 6.4 percent, citing a weakening labor market that could hurt private consumption.

Paracuelles said the labor market was seen growing in the long term and remittances from overseas Filipinos and overall confidence in the economy would help drive consumer spending.

"Private consumption tends to be very resilient," he said.

The economy grew 6.4 percent in the first three months of the year, slower than analysts' forecast, but still among fastest in Asia.