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Bank Economist Sees 6.6% Q1 Growth for PH

by: Sarah Joson

Friday, May 13, 2016 |

Strong Q1 growth at 6.6% forecast

Jose Mario I. Cuyegkeng, an economist at global financial institution ING Bank N.V. Manila, recently said in a marketing report that he is anticipating a bullish economic growth which will clock in at 6.6% as strong public spending and election-related activities took place during the first quarter of 2016.

He noted that this will enable the central bank to sustain monetary policies while financial markets normalize until the new president implements updated procedures.

Mr. Cuyegkeng also said strong economic activities during this year’s first quarter point to growth. Activities including manufacturing indicators showing buoyant industrial events, improved government spending, and accelerated election spending reinforced the economy.

In line with this, the latest report from the Finance Department revealed a 22% increase in spending in February last year, which is faster than the 7% increase in January.

Another factor noted by the bank analyst is the strong investment activity in the private sector over the period of January to March, which is the season leading to the national elections.

Overall, these activities are said to offset the underperformance of the agricultural industry caused by the El Niño phenomenon.

Mr. Cuyegkeng’s 6.6% growth forecast is faster than the 6.3% prediction for the fourth quarter of last year, and if it is actually hit, it will also be higher than the actual figure posted during last year’s fourth quarter. The growth, if realized, will enable the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to stick with the policy rates, and allow minimal inflation seen from January to April.


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