MANILA, Philippines — The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has retained the Philippines’ economic growth target at 6.6 percent for this year.
“We see continued robust domestic demand driven by investment and consumption, and fiscal policy is supportive of growth. Hence no change to our forecast,” IMF resident representative Yongzheng Yang said.
For 2018, however, the IMF lowered the country’s growth forecast to 6.7 from the original target of 6.8 percent.
This year’s growth target was faster than the ASEAN-5 average of 5.2 percent and that of Thailand’s 3.7 percent, Indonesia’s 5.2 percent, Malaysia’s 5.4 percent, and Vietnam’s 6.3 percent.
“In the ASEAN-5 economies (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam), growth is expected to strengthen in 2017 to 5.2 percent (from five percent in April), partly because of stronger-than-expected external demand from China and Europe,” the IMF said.
The Philippines emerged as the fastest growing economy in the region last year with a gross domestic product growth of 6.9 percent from 5.9 percent in 2015, aided by one-off gains from election related spending that boosted consumption as well as higher investments.