PH can achieve 7 pct growth this year - Balisacan

Reuters

Posted at Jan 29 2015 11:25 AM | Updated as of Jan 30 2015 02:09 AM

MANILA - The Philippine economy has moved to a long-term growth path and can achieve 7 percent GDP growth this year, the economic planning secretary said on Thursday.

Arsenio Balisacan also said the economy has avoided the dreaded boom-and-bust cycle it faced in previous decades and has become more competitive with its East and Southeast Asian neighbors.

"Overall, the Philippine economy’s performance in 2014 and the preceding years starting in 2010 shows how our country can no longer be called the 'sick man' of Asia. Our economic growth is becoming more competitive with our East and Southeast Asian neighbors. We have avoided the dreaded boom-and-bust cycle that has hounded our economy for decades," he said.

Manila has a 7-8 percent growth goal in 2015 and 2016.

At the same time, the Philippine central bank said it will refresh its forecasts after the economy's strong rebound in the fourth quarter of 2014, and will take into account oil price expectations in the assessment.

"We will refresh our forecasts to include this new development, oil price expectations, shifts in interest differentials and global investor sentiment," Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando Tetangco said in brief comments sent to reporters via SMS text message.

After assessing "if there's any change in the balance of risks to inflation," he said the central bank will then formulate adjustments to policy stance as needed."

His remarks came after data showed the Philippine economy grew at a faster-than-expected pace of 6.9 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier.