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Economy to stay among Asia’s strongest

The International Monetary Fund remains optimistic on the Philippine economy as it continues to see a 6.6 percent output for 2017.

“We have retained the forecast as we see continued robust domestic demand driven by investments and consumption, and fiscal policy is supportive of growth,” IMF Representative for the Philippines Yongzheng Yang told PNA.

The retention of the forecast was made even if the domestic economy registered a slowdown in the first half of 2017 to 6.4 percent against year-ago’s 6.9 percent.

In the second quarter alone, gross domestic product decelerated to 6.5 percent from year-ago’s 7.1 percent due to slower expansion of the services sector to 6.1 percent from year-ago’s 8.2 percent and slower growth in public spending.

The second quarter figure, however, is slightly faster than quarter-ago’s 6.4 percent. “We think the growth slowdown in H1 was partly due to a temporary slowdown in public spending and strong base effects from H1 2016,” Yang said.

However, the lender, in its World Economic Report released Tuesday night (Manila time), lowered its 2018 growth projection for the Philippines to 6.7 percent from 6.8 percent previously.
    
The IMF official, on the other hand, pointed out that “the growth projection of 6.7 percent for 2018 remains one of the fastest growth rates in Asia.” “It (projection) is in line with our current medium-term growth forecast (6.8 percent),” he added.
    
For 2022, the lender forecasts a 6.8 percent growth for the Philippine economy. The Philippine government has set a 6.5-7.5 percent growth target for the country for 2017 and seven to eight percent growth for 2018 until 2022.