Phl to hit GDP growth target for 2014: experts
Rosalinda L. Orosa (The Philippine Star) - May 29, 2014 - 11:00pm

MANILA, Philippines (Xinhua) - Despite posting a growth of less than 6 percent in the first quarter, experts said today that the hike in Philippine gross domestic product (GDP) will still settle within the government's target of 6.5-7.5 percent this year.

Experts said, however, that hitting the target would largely depend on factors such as the weather, the pace of rehabilitation in areas affected by super typhoon Haiyan (local name: Yolanda) and government spending on infrastructure.

"The growth target is attainable because the industry sector, particularly manufacturing, will boost GDP in the next three quarters with double-digit increases," said Ateneo de Manila University economist Fernando Aldaba.

Aldaba said weather would remain a big factor in increasing output particularly in the agriculture sector. Better weather conditions, he said, would allow the sector to improve its performance.

University of Asia and the Pacific economist Cid Terosa said Philippine economic growth will hit the lower-end of the government's target.

"The country's economy still has to maximize benefits from investment and government spending. Also, trade could grow faster in the second half of the year with stronger markets abroad," said Terosa.

Ronald Mendoza, executive director of the Asian Institute of Management Policy Center, also believes that the target will be achieved on the back of higher infrastructure spending by the government.

"Private sector investments would also continue to grow due to the latest (credit) upgrade," said Mendoza.

The outlook of University of the Philippines economist Benjamin Diokno on Philippine economy this year is less sanguine.

"With agriculture expected to be tepid as a result of El Nino, combined with slow rehabilitation activity, full year GDP growth of 6 percent is likely. Depending on the severity of El Nino and the power failure, growth could be below 6 percent," said Diokno.

Rajiv Biswas, Asia-Pacific chief economist of IHS, said Philippine economy could grow by 6.2 percent this year, lower than the 7.3 percent posted last year and the low end of the government 's target for 2014.

"Key growth drivers for the Philippines economy over the remainder of 2014 will be continued strong growth of domestic consumption, underpinned by buoyant remittance flows," said Biswas.

Philippine economy grew by 5.7 percent in the January to March period. The services and industry sectors, which grew by 6.8 percent and 5.5 percent, respectively, buoyed GDP.

The lingering effects of natural disasters such as typhoon Haiyan were evident in the agriculture, fishery and forestry sector which inched up by only 0.9 percent during the period.

Biswas noted that the 5.7-percent hike in GDP in January to March was the first time in nine quarters that growth was below 6 percent.  




 
 

ASIAN INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT POLICY CENTER BENJAMIN DIOKNO BISWAS CID TEROSA EL NINO FERNANDO ALDABA GROWTH HAIYAN MANILA UNIVERSITY
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