By Fred Lobo
The Philippines’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would grow by 6.9 percent next year due to robust demand and government spending, says the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Economic forecast for PH continues to be favorable.
President Duterte, likewise, said the National Food Authority (NFA) cheap “rice buffer” issue has been addressed while subcontracting or the “endo” issue will be decided soon, on or before May 1, Labor Day.
Economic and labor issues to be confronted by DU30, as promised.
The IMF said that the Philippines, which grew by 6.8 percent last year, enjoys the highest growth projections among ASEAN-5 nations, followed by Vietnam (6.5 percent for 2017), Indonesia (5.1 percent), Malaysia (4.5 percent) and Thailand (three percent).
PH leads ASEAN economically.
The IMF added that it sees a higher Philippine GDP growth forecast next year of 6.9 percent while keeping its previous estimate of 6.8 percent for 2017 based on robust demand.
External upheavals can be offset, forecast showed.
Economic activity is expected to “accelerate slightly” this year for the Philippines and three other ASEAN-5 countries Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam.
The IMF pointed out “near-term pickup in growth is underpinned to a significant extent by stronger domestic demand and, in the Philippines, by higher public spending in particular.”
The IMF added that the Philippine outlook is “subject to downside risks, including from lower regional growth, capital outflows from US monetary policy tightening and heightened global policy uncertainty.”
On the other hand, upside risks include a faster pace of budget execution and higher global growth, it said.
The IMF also said monetary policy has been supporting GDP growth and the implementation of the interest rate corridor in June last year has made the monetary transmission stronger.
Monetary policy remains healthy.
Overall, the IMF said Asia is expected to grow by 5.5 percent in 2017 from 5.3 percent last year, but will slow down to 5.4 percent next year while world economy will grow by 3.5 percent this year versus last year’s 3.4 percent, and improve further to 3.6 percent in 2018.
The Philippine economy, by stronger demand and higher public spending, continue to be more favorable, the IMF concluded.
Meanwhile, Duterte said he addressed the rice supply-price manipulation by unscrupulous traders by placing the NFA Council or governing body under the Department of Agriculture (DA) headed by Sec. Manny Piñol.
Maintain required government “rice buffer” at affordable price for the sake of consumers, he ordered.
As to “labor subcontracting only” or “endo” practice, Duterte said he will act on the issue accordingly on or before Labor Day.
Oppressive, anti-labor practice to be checked as promised, he assured.