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PH economy remains to be fastest growing in ASEAN

November 19, 2018 - Monday 11:11 AM by Lovely Carillo

Article Banner Image DBM Secretary Benjamin Diokno told participants of The Outlook 2018 that the Philippine economy is strong, resilient, and robust. DOF

The Philippine economy, which has grown by 6.7 percent in 2017 and expanded by 6.3 percent during the first three quarters of 2018, remains to be the fastest growing in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). 


ASEAN is a regional intergovernmental organization comprising ten Southeast Asian countries namely Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Brunei and Laos.


“The Philippine economy will grow by 6.5 to 6.9 percent this year and will become an upper-middle income country with a Gross National Income per capita of US$ 4,000,” Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said in his keynote speech at The Outlook 2018 in Makati City on Thursday.


The Outlook, which is presented by Lamudi and co-presented by the Philippine Daily Inquirer Property, is an annual gathering of prominent professionals in the Philippine real estate sector.


Diokno, who said the growth target of 7.0 to 8.0 percent is “attainable” in the medium term, made this projection even as he took note of the existing economic landscape including rising protectionism, higher world oil prices, and the normalization of monetary policy in advanced economies. 


“Despite these, the Philippines remains to be one of the fastest growing economies in the fastest growing region, that is the ASEAN region, in the world,” he said.


Even the World Bank, in a statement last October 4, said that with the context of “rising global uncertainty and inflationary pressures, the Philippine economy is poised to remain strong…”


Diokno cited the improving fiscal indicators of the Philippines including  its strong and increasing revenue effort, stable deficit level, and decreasing debt-to-GDP ratio. He said the 75-25 financing mix of the government in favor of domestic sources was “designed to minimize the country’s risk from foreign exchange fluctuations.”


While the much stronger dollar and higher oil prices continue to challenge the Philippine economy, he said, the country’s gross international reserves will get a boost from the continuous foreign currency flows from Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW), the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry, and foreign direct investments (FDI). 


“All these macroeconomic indicators demonstrate that in spite of global and domestic challenges that the Philippine economy faces, the bigger picture suggests a solid, robust, and resilient economy” Diokno said.