by: Sarah Joson
Wednesday, May 18, 2016 |
Top economists from Dutch global financial institution ING and Bank of the Philippines Islands (BPI) predict that the country’s economic growth will reach nearly seven percent in the first quarter.
Nicholas Antonio Mapa, Associate Economist at BPI, explained that due to improved public spending, it is possible that the country’s gross domestic product rose 6.9 percent in the first quarter of this year, and is faster than the 6.3 percent posted during the fourth quarter of last year. He added that the Aquino administration will be closing on a high note as the first quarter gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to breach the six-percent mark, which could help the Philippines regain the top spot in the region.
Mapa cited strong consumption and improved government spending as factors for growth.
Meanwhile, the agriculture industry slowed down to 4.5 percent during the first quarter as a result of the El Niño phenomenon. But he noted that the services sector’s 10-percent contribution to the overall GDP will buoy the contraction in farm production based on the healthy first-quarter corporate earnings.
The economist also said Philippine economic growth will remain steadfast amid strong consumption, backed by years of accelerated growth.
On the other hand, Joey Cuyegkeng, Senior Economist at ING Bank Manila, anticipates a 6.6 percent growth for the country’s GDP. He cited strong domestic demand, favourable private sector investment, resilient structural inflows, election spending, and infrastructure spending will make up for the agriculture industry’s output.