MANILA – The Philippine economy will lead Southeast Asia in terms of growth in the next two years due to higher public spending and robust consumption, the International Monetary Fund said.
Gross domestic product will likely grow 6.8 percent this year and 6.9 percent in 2018, outpacing second-placer Vietnam, and followed by Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia, the IMF said in a report Tuesday.
Including other developing economies in Asia, the Philippines will grow faster than China, but will fall behind the region’s leader, India, the IMF said.
“In these economies, the near-term pickup in growth is underpinned to a significant extent by stronger domestic demand and, in the Philippines, by higher public spending in particular,” the lender said.
On Tuesday, President Rodrigo Duterte’s economic managers unveiled “Dutertenomics,” an ambitious plan to grow the economy by building P8-trillion in infrastructure.
These include Mindanao’s first railway and a subway for Metro Manila, where chronic traffic jams result in daily economic losses of P2.4 billion according to a Japanese study.
Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said the government was targeting growth of 6.5 to 7.5 percent this year and 7 to 8 percent next year.
"One of the thrusts of the Philippine Development Plan is accelerating strategic infrastructure development. This is the bedrock of the Philippine Development Plan towards an economy that continues to grow and in an inclusive fashion," he said on Tuesday.
First quarter GDP data will be released in May. The economy grew 6.9 percent in 2016.