MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte’s decisive brand of leadership can help transform the Philippine economy into a global growth leader, a top fund manager said Monday.
First Metro Investment Corp. (FMIC) has upgraded its growth forecast for the full year to 6.5 to 7 percent from 6 to 6.5 percent, said its president, Rabboni Francis Arjonillo.
"With the change in government and the promise of the Duterte administration's decisiveness and action... the country is poised to become an emerging global frontrunner," he said.
Duterte has promised to spread development to the countryside and his economic team plans to raise infrastructure spending to five percent of gross domestic product (GDP).
The economy grew 6.9 percent in the January to March period, beating analysts’ expectations and outpacing China.
Strong fundamentals, a booming outsourcing sector, steady consumer spending, and high optimism over the new leadership was expected to boost growth, Arjonillo said.
"The country is expected to continue its rapid growth, outperform its regional peers and weather any further global economic and financial market headwinds,” he said.
For 2016, FMIC sees inflation at 2.2 percent, exports recovering at 2 percent to 5 percent growth and the peso trading at P46.50 to P47.50 to the dollar.