PHL posts strongest economic growth in Asia at 7.1%

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The Philippine economy expanded by 7.1 percent in the third quarter (July to September) of the year, the fastest in Asia.

PHL growth graph

The Philippines outperformed the world’s second largest economy China’s who’s third quarter growth rate was recorded at 6.7%, and South East neighbors Vietnam’s, at 6.4%, Indonesia’s 5%, and Malaysia’s 4.3%.

The Philippines Statistics Authority said the country’s latest GDP growth rate is the highest since the second quarter of 2013 (7.6 percent).

The better than expected expansion is due to strong investment growth, particularly in construction and infrastructure, and upbeat consumer spending driven by low inflation and interest rates.

The PSA said the services sector, which posted a growth of 6.9 percent, contributed much to the third quarter’s economic performance this year.

The industry sector, meanwhile, accelerated by 8.6 percent this year, considerably higher than the 6.1 percent rate in 2015.

ANALYSTS VIEWS

“Philippines will remain an outperformer in the region,” said Rahul Bajoria, a senior economist at Barclays Plc in Singapore. “It is domestically driven, with consumption holding up quite well and the fiscal spending being planned. The global risks we’re seeing including to trade won’t fundamentally alter its prospects.”

“In the short term at least, we expect the economy will continue growing at a decent pace,” Gareth Leather, senior Asia economist at Capital Economics Ltd. in London, said in a note. “The foundations are in place for growth to remain strong, but recent political events, both in the US and domestically, have made the outlook much less certain.”

In a report, Nomura said the “Philippines’ economic momentum will continue into 2017 and 2018, despite political noise generated by President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s controversial remarks.”

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