The Philippine economy likely expanded by at least 7 percent in the third quarter, representing the first three months in office of President Rodrigo Duterte, the country’s chief economist said Wednesday.
“We hope it [gross domestic product growth rate] should be at least 7 percent [for the third quarter],” Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia told reporters at the sidelines of the 42nd Philippine Business Conference & Expo at Marriott Hotel in Pasay City.
Pernia said the expansion in the third quarter was driven by massive infrastructure spending by the Duterte administration.
Meanwhile, S&P Global Ratings raised its growth forecast for the Philippines this year to 6.5 percent from an earlier estimate of 6.1 percent.
S&P said in a regional report the Philippines’ growth momentum would continue despite risks associated with the slowdown in Chinese economy and Japan’s shakier outlook.
“The Southeast Asian economies are seeing stable growth with the Philippines outperforming the region, given its growing middle class, a business process outsourcing boom, and expansionary fiscal policy with emphasis on public infrastructure,” it said.
The revised growth outlook for the Philippines this year was higher than Indonesia’s 5 percent, Malaysia’s 4.3 percent, Singapore’s 1.8 percent and Thailand’s 3.2 percent.
S&P maintained its 6.3 percent growth forecast for the Philippines in 2017, higher than Indonesia’s 5.2 percent, Malaysia’s 4.5 percent, Singapore’s 1.8 percent and Thailand’s 3.5 percent.
S&P projected a slightly lower GDP growth of 6.2 percent for the Philippines in 2018, but still higher than its peers in the region. With Julito G. Rada