WB sees PH growth at more than 6% through 2015

by Cathy Rose A. Garcia, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Jan 16 2013 11:12 AM | Updated as of Jan 17 2013 05:13 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine economy is expected to continue growing by more than 6% in the next three years, according to a World Bank report.

In its "Global Economic Prospects 2013" report released on Wednesday, the World Bank said it projects a 6.2% growth for the Philippines in 2013; 6.4% in 2014 and 6.3% in 2015. This despite continuing concerns about the global economy's vulnerability to the risks from the euro zone crisis and fiscal policy in the United States. 

The World Bank estimated the Philippines grew by 6% in 2012.

For the East Asia and the Pacific region, the World Bank sees growth at 7.9% this year, reflecting firmer growth in China to 8.4%. This is an improvement from the region's 7.5% growth in 2012. 

"Improved global financial conditions, a gradual pickup of growth in high-income countries and a return to more normal global trade growth are expected to support a gradual strengthening of output in East Asia and the Pacific between 2013 and 2015," the report said. 

The report also noted that "accommodative monetary policy" and and low inflation in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines is also a factor.

Major ASEAN countries, including the Philippines, are expected to continue their strong economic growth. 

"Growth in this country group is expected to increase to 5.9% in 2015, as Indonesia continues to grow rapidly (at around 6.6%) and growth remains robust in Malaysia (around 5%), Thailand (4.5%) and the Philippines as well (around 6%)," it said.  

Possible impact of US fiscal impasse

The World Bank cut its outlook for world growth this year. It estimates global gross domestic product will go up 2.4% this year, from 2.3% in 2012.

World Bank Group president Jim Yong Kim said the global economic recovery remains fragile and uncertain, which clouds the prospects for a return to robust growth.

"Developing countries have remained remarkably resilient thus far. But we can't wait for a return to growth in the high-income countries, so we have to continue to support developing countries in making investments in infrastructure, in health, in education. This will set the stage for the stronger growth that we know that they can achieve in the future."

The growth prospects for the East Asia and Pacific region in 2013 remain vulnerable to the continuation of the euro zone crisis and the fiscal impasse in the United States.

The World Bank estimates a deepening euro zone crisis could cut East Asia and Pacific's regional GDP by 1%. The impact of the US' failure to resolve its fiscal problems could mean a 1.1% cut in East Asia and Pacific's GDP in 2013. 

"Among the EAP developing economies China, Thailand and Indonesia are projected to be most affected by a growth slowdown in high income countries (about  1-1.2% cut in GDP in both 2013 and 2014 relative to the baseline) followed by Vietnam and Malaysia (about 0.8-0.7% cut in the GDP relative to the baseline) due to reduced import demand in high- income countries, much tighter international capital conditions and increased pre-cautionary savings within the region," the World Bank said.