PH economy to grow 5.8 pct this year - Stan Chart

by Ted P. Torres, The Philippine Star

Posted at Apr 01 2013 09:28 AM | Updated as of Apr 01 2013 05:28 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine economy is forecast to “post another year of strong growth momentum” with a 5.8-percent growth this year following a robust 6.6-percent performance in 2012, British banking giant Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) said over the weekend.

“The Philippines will outperform the Southeast Asian region and enjoy another year of strong growth momentum in 2013,” SCB economist Jeff Ng said. The economist sees the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) expanding by 5.8 percent this year, higher than the 10-year average of 5.2 percent for 2003-2012.

Government economists expect the economy to grow between 6.7 and 7.6 percent this year.

The global financial institution also expects other countries in Southeast Asia recording a positive economic performance.

SCB expects Indonesia to expand from 6.2 percent in 2012 to 6.5 percent this year and 6.8 percent in 2014, driven by household consumption and investment.

Being one of ASEAN’s strongest domestically driven economies, Malaysia is likely to enjoy a sustained investment growth in 2013, while also benefiting from an improvement in external conditions.

Ng forecasts that Malaysia’s gross domestic product growth will slow to 4.7 percent this year from 5.6 percent in 2012. Malaysia’s GDP growth has been relatively stable since the second half of 2010 after recovering from an externally driven slowdown in 2009.

Vietnam’s economy is expected to grow by 5.5 percent this year from five percent in 2012.

Thailand is forecast to expand by a moderate four percent this year, while Singapore’s growth outlook remains subdued with a GDP growth of 3.2 percent this year following a weak 1.3 percent in 2012.