Philippines to remain fastest growing economy in region: Fitch

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 26 2017 08:20 PM

MANILA - The Philippines will likely remain the fastest growing economy in Southeast Asia for the next five years, Fitch Ratings said in its report "Asia Pacific Sovereign Overview 3Q17" released on July 25.

Fitch Ratings sees the Philippines growing at an average of 6.6 percent over the next five years, faster than Vietnam's 6.1 percent, Indonesia's 5.1 percent, Malaysia's 4.9 percent, Singapore's 2.9 percent, Thailand's 2.6 percent, and Taiwan's 2 percent.

Last March 29, the debt watcher reaffirmed the country's rating at 'BBB-" or minimum investment grade on a positive outlook.

The National Economic and Development Authority is sticking to its gross domestic product (GDP) growth target of 6.5 to 7.5 percent this year, despite a weaker than expected 6.4 percent expansion in the first quarter.

Fitch said the expected passage of the first package of the Duterte administration's comprehensive tax reform program will also result in greater stability for government finances.

The debt watcher pointed out that low government revenue remains a constraint as tax collections account for just 22 percent of the GDP, compared with 30 percent for the 'BBB' median.