Standard Chartered lowers Philippine growth forecast

Michelle Ong, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 01 2017 04:17 PM

MANILA - Standard Chartered Bank lowered its growth forecast for the Philippines this year, citing the high base from last year's election-powered expansion, one of its economists said Tuesday.

The lender expects gross domestic product to grow 6.5 percent this year from the previous forecast of 6.8 percent, said Southeast Asia research head Edward Lee.

A cooling Chinese economy and protectionism abroad led by US President Donald Trump pose the biggest risks to growth, Lee said.

A 6.5-percent expansion this year is "still a pretty solid number," Lee said.

Should tax reform be passed, this could add 3 percentage points to GDP growth, he said.

Standard Chartered is looking at 1 more rate hike by the Federal Reserve in December and 2 more in the first half of 2018. It also expects the Fed to announce a reduction in its balance sheet in September.