Robust state, consumer spending to sustain PH economic growth in 2019: PCCI

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 22 2018 02:35 PM

MANILA- The Philippines' largest business group is optimistic that economic growth will accelerate next year on the back of robust government and consumer spending.

The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) said in a statement Thursday that it agrees with the 6.7-percent growth forecast of international lenders and noted that the country would remain as one of the most resilient economies in Asia.

"PCCI expects the economy to surge in 2019. Our country continues to enjoy strong macroeconomic fundamentals, enabling us to weather external headwinds," the PCCI said.

"Our economic outlook for 2019 is still strong, backed by robust consumer spending and stronger government expenditures," it added.

The PCCI also noted that infrastructure projects, election-related spending, and the country's hosting of the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games would also help further drive economic growth.

Manila will hold its midterm polls in May next year and host the SEA Games in November.

To sustain economic growth, the PCCI said the government should fast-track the implementing rules and guidelines of the Ease of Doing Business Act.

"It is ironic that four months after its enactment, the implementing rules and regulations of the Ease of Doing Business Act has yet to be finalized," it said.

The PCCI also called for the elimination of the port congestion problem and for the government to address job contractualization to "create certainty in the labor market."

"We in PCCI believe that investment growth will eventually catch up as higher public capital outlays, including increased infrastructure spending, will be undertaken more aggressively under BBB (Build, Build, Build)," it said.