IMF sees 6% PH growth

By: Michelle V. Remo, January 24th, 2013 01:29 AM

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has raised its 2013 growth forecast for the Philippines, citing robust consumer spending and rising domestic investments.

The IMF also said that an increase in public spending, aided by an improvement in the government’s fiscal standing, would help in boosting the country’s economy this year.

The IMF now expects the Philippines to grow by 6 percent this year—better than the 4.8 percent it announced last October. Still, the forecast is below the estimated 6.5 percent growth registered in 2012.

For 2014, the IMF expects the Philippine economy to grow by 5.5 percent.

Rachel Van Elkan, head of the IMF mission to the Philippines, said in a press conference yesterday that the Philippines’ performance last year was remarkable. She said the country was able to shrug off the problems now upsetting the global economy.

Van Elkan also believes that the Philippines will continue to be resilient, fending off global shocks.

“This growth resilience and more favorable outlook is both a testament to the Philippines’ improved macroeconomic fundamentals [and] policy reforms,” she said.

The IMF took note of the reforms in governance, saying that these complemented efforts to keep the economy healthy.

“The focus on good governance has buoyed confidence and is supportive of more inclusive growth,” Elkan said.

On inflation, the IMF expects the rate of rise in consumer prices to settle at the lower end of the government’s target range of 3 to 5 percent over the short term.

Also, the balance of payments “is forecast to stay in the surplus,” Van Elkan said.

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