MANILA - The Philippines will break into the ranks of upper-middle income countries as early as next year, one of the country's economic managers said on Tuesday.
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said that while economic expansion slowed down in the first half of 2018, the country's growth momentum remained.
Pernia said growth in the Philippines is increasingly being driven by investments, instead of consumption.
"The Philippines is also slated to become an upper-middle income country by 2019, as early as 2019, not 2022, with a per capita income of more than $4,000," Pernia said during a briefing by economic managers.
The World Bank defines upper-middle income countries as having a per capita income of $3,896 to $12,055.
China, Malaysia, and Thailand are upper-middle income countries under the World Bank classification while Taiwan, Singapore and Japan are dubbed as high-income economies with incomes of $12,056 or more.
The Philippines is currently classified as a lower middle income country along with Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia and India.
A per capita income of $4,000 translates to roughly P216,000 at today's exchange rate.
The government is aiming for a medium term growth target of 7 to 8 percent.