The World Bank retained its 2018 growth forecast for the Philippines at 6.7 percent, saying the country will continue to outperform most of its peers in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
The Washington D.C.-based multilateral lender also predicted that growth would remain at 6.7 percent in 2019 and 6.5 percent in 2020.
“The Philippines will continue to be the fastest-growing economy in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, despite some stabilization of investment growth,” the World Bank said in its January 2018 Global Economic Prospects.
The country’s gross domestic product grew 6.9 percent in the third quarter, bringing the first three quarters’ average growth to 6.7 percent, within the government’s target range of 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent.
The World Bank said global economic growth was expected to edge up to 3.1 percent in 2018 after a much stronger-than-expected 2017, as the recovery in investment, manufacturing and trade continued. and as commodity-exporting developing economies benefited from firming commodity prices.
“However, this is largely seen as a short-term upswing. Over the longer term, slowing potential growth―a measure of how fast an economy can expand when labor and capital are fully employed―puts at risk gains in improving living standards and reducing poverty around the world,” the World Bank said.
“Notwithstanding these regional demographic trends, many countries, including Malaysia, the Philippines, and Cambodia, continue to enjoy rising working-age populations,” it said.
“In some Asean economies, such as Indonesia and the Philippines, supportive monetary policy had spurred investment and, hence, capital accumulation in the wake of the global financial crisis,” the bank said.
The World Bank also said that rapid capital accumulation reflected infrastructure upgrades. In the Philippines, improved macroeconomic policy management and the government’s public-private partnership initiative boosted capital accumulation, it said.