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WB sees Ph sustaining 6.7% growth

The World Bank expects the Philippines to sustain stable economic growth this year and the next, noting the country should invest more in infrastructure and human capital to achieve further growth.

In its East Asia and Pacific Economic Update released on Thursday, the Bank said the Philippine gross domestic product (GDP) is projected to maintain its growth rate at 6.7 percent in 2018 and 2019.

“The country is expected to benefit from the global recovery during 2018,” it said.

However, the Bank said export growth is expected to level off this year compared to its strong expansion in 2017, while imports are projected to remain elevated due to a high demand for intermediate and capital goods.

The outlook report noted that medium-term growth prospects depend on the sustained pick up in both public and private investment.

“Investment growth hinges on the government’s ability to effectively and timely implement the Build, Build, Build public investment program,” it said.

The Duterte administration has earmarked PHP8-trillion infrastructure investment until 2022 to boost economic growth.

Apart from infrastructure, the Bank said sustained investment in human capital such as in education, skills and health, can also “push the economy beyond its current potential output.”

“The sustained overall growth would support the continuous poverty reduction,” it added.