6.5% GDP growth seen in 4th quarter of 2012By Michelle V. Remo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Benefiting from robust consumer spending and improving investment climate, the Philippine economy was expected to have maintained a robust 6.5-percent growth in the fourth quarter of 2012 and remained one of the fastest-growing economies in the region.
This was according to Moody’s Analytics, which said in a report released Monday that the healthy pace of economic expansion that the Philippines registered in the first three quarters of 2012 was likely maintained in the last three months of the year.
A 6.5-percent growth was deemed higher than the Philippine economy’s potential growth, which economists placed between 4 and 5 percent. Potential growth is normally measured as the average growth for the past several years, usually a decade.
For 2012, the government’s official economic growth target was 5 to 6 percent.
Moody’s Analytics said one of the drivers of growth in the fourth quarter was strong consumer spending, which has been backed by remittances from overseas Filipinos. Investments by local firms were also cited by many economists as a growth driver for the fourth quarter and the entire 2012.
“Remittances continue to flow in, supporting consumer demand. Business confidence has been trending steadily higher as the outlook is rosy and the government has provided a more business-friendly setting,” Moody’s Analytics said.
The government will release the official gross domestic product (GDP) growth figure for the fourth quarter and the full year of 2012 on Thursday.