PH expected to outperform regional rivals

Citi notes country’s resilience to shocks from US or China


A construction worker wires together steel frames for the foundation of a building still under construction in Parañaque City. American banking giant Citigroup sees the Philippines outperforming neighbors in the region this year in the face of the tapering of the US Federal Reserve’s easy money policy and a slowdown in China. RAFFY LERMA

MANILA, Philippines—American banking giant Citigroup sees the Philippines outperforming neighbors in the region and better withstanding external shocks arising from the tapering of the US Federal Reserve’s easy money policy and a slowdown in China.

The Philippines can attain an above-trend gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of 7 percent this year and 6.8 percent for next year, said Johanna Chua, the managing director and head of Asia-Pacific economic and market analysis at Citi.

The Hong Kong-based Filipino economist said the Philippines was beating global growth forecast trends and that the stage was set for an investment-led recovery in the country.

Chua said growth in the country was “very resilient,” supported by ample fiscal space for government spending alongside high business confidence levels.

Economic growth in the second quarter would likely be slower than the first quarter, when the domestic economy grew by 7.8 percent year on year, but the growth rate would still be “quite elevated,” she said. In the last decade, Philippine trend growth rate was at less than 5 percent.

The economist said emerging markets in the region continued to face two major external risks: the tapering of the US Federal Reserve’s $85 billion in monthly bond purchases and a structural slowdown of the Chinese economy. Citi sees the tapering of easy money starting by September this year and going down to zero by the middle of next year.

“If we look at and combine both risks, the Philippines stands out as the country most insulated to both, with macroeconomic and financial stability intact,” she said.

“The sudden reversal of capital flows may hurt the domestic growth of some markets but the Philippines is in better shape,” she added.

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • disqus_ZrxaGjUzMQ

    Good News to Philippines – Palawan com

  • hopeless_na

    with all these corrupt politicians in the legislative, it is very unlikely.

  • big dawg

    since we’re rock bottom, there’s no other way but up. but if we are not vigilant, lalamunnin na naman ng mga corrupt na politico ang pera ng bayan instead na gastusin sa mga infrastructure projects

  • Weder-Weder Lang

    The Philippines has been touted as many a flattering things in the past. The new tiger economy, the new new tiger economy, the newest new tiger economy, the new paper tiger about to take off and whatnot. Mrs. Chua of Citibank may be bullish about the Philippines because she has an inherent bias for our country. The three famous bubblemakers, Moody’s, Fitch and S&P, also have their inherent bias for cheering and creating the next lucrative bubble. Reality however has often proven these forecasters and analysts wrong. The people on the ground, the man on the street, the vendor around the corner and the wage-earner living hand to mouth existence all do not feel these bubbly predictions. But Mrs. Chua was also cautious in qualifying her statement. She did say that the government “must grab every opportunity to achieve growth.” To this day, only one PPP has been sealed. Many more PPPs are still waiting. FDIs in the Philippines pale in comparison with our Asean neighbors due to a whole host of reasons that PNoy’s government has failed to address. Smuggling remains rampant. Corruption in government remains business as usual. Infrastructure deplorable. Restrictive business rules keep out potential foreign investors. In short, Citibank’s bullish forecast will pretty much remain as a forecast and nothing more. In many ways, the situation today is reminiscent of the days when Cory first took office and the whole world had high hopes for the Philippine economy. Looking back, none of that ever came to pass. It’s like history redundantly repeating itself over and over again, the legacy of failures bequeathed from mother to son, like mother like son.

    • Yusuke Zenkibuta

      crab mentality strikes again! that is the reason why PH is not able to really take off. instead of thinking positive and help in any way you can, you keep on blaming the past and the present. Did you ever asked yourself what have you done to or plan to do to at least help?

      • Weder-Weder Lang

        Not crab Yusuke or mojakojako. Just telling it like it is. I can understand that some people do not appreciate being bluntly reminded of Pnoy and Cory’s failure. By reminding ourselves of the failures of the past, we learn from our past. Love for country is not about whitewashing the failures of the past. It’s about honestly and openly confronting it. Only then can this country proceed progressively forward. Sansei desu ka?

        How’s the green Chile chicken enchiladas with black pepper?

      • Yusuke Zenkibuta

        i’m not asking you to whitewash. All i’m saying is you are not giving PH a chance. You already jumped to conclusion that what the finance analysts said would not even happen. You base you forecast on the past experience and your observation. Do you want me to believe that you know better than those finance analysts? They have their real scientific data to justify their forecasts and what you have is only observation.. And it’s but obvious that you don’t like the current administration. “Like mother like son as you said”

      • lanceads

        well said yusuke… very true

      • Weder-Weder Lang

        Thank you for not forcing others to whitewash history. It does appear in your reply that you have failed to comprehend my original post. Many financial analysts who came before Mrs. Chua of Citibank have made similarly rosy forecasts only to fall flat on their faces. If Mrs. Chua’s forecast does not pan out, it will not be her fault. After all, she did qualify her statement when she said the government “must grab every opportunity to achieve growth.” (Philstar) The fault therefore lies with this government and PNoy’s administration. The things that need to be fixed to achieve growth are enumerated in my original post. All you need to do is read again and comprehend. Pointing out the failures of our government is every patriotic citizen’s duty, including the failures of the mother and son.

      • Yusuke Zenkibuta

        Pointing failures is one thing but dwelling on failures and doing nothing is another. Instead of criticizing why not give this current administration a chance to do their thing. I noticed most of your comments here are against the current administration. Why do others see some good things happening around and all you see are bad things. The administration cannot make things better for all of us overnight

      • Weder-Weder Lang

        I did enumerate the things that this administration needs to fix. Only you were too busy feeling uneasy about my bluntness in pointing out PNoy and his mother’s failures. That’s not dwelling on failures. This country is suffering as a result of their failures, every minute of the day. We are living it. At least for vast majority of Filipinos we are. Please forgive me for not sharing your romantic pollyannaism. I must admit, I did not drink the yellow Kool-Aid.

        Since you referred to my other posts, was I wrong to comment against PNoy’s obstinacy to continue the multi-billion pesos of corruptible pork barrel elsewhere in these forums? Or are you in favor of more corruption?

      • mumbaki ak

        My guess is, you drank the dwarf’s Kool-Aid then? That or the red Kool-Aid.

      • Weder-Weder Lang

        I only drink clear pristine water. Kool-Aid is for the gullible like Yusuke or mojakojako. Are you into Kool-Aid too?

      • Yusuke Zenkibuta

        Will blaming others do the country any good? Why don’t you replace Pinoy and see if everything you said can be done. The problem with people like you is you’re always trying to find fault with others specially this administration. Are you saying that this current government is not better than the previous administrations? Are you not seeing anything good thing borne out from the current administration? You are really blind. I’m not saying every thing is good about Pnoy but you can’t deny the fact the his administration is better than the previous ones. Even the international community feel the same way. Don’t you think so? No administration is perfect and with people like you even a good administration is doomed to fail. Why don’t you just admit that you’re one of those anti Pnoy guy that refuse to see even a single tiny goodness in his administration. And that is because you’re on the other aside. That’s you having a crab mentality

      • Weder-Weder Lang

        Your argument has descended into name calling. It does not reflect well on you or the president that you are so fervently defending. My suggestions are clearly laid out in my original post. Since you are unable to argue intelligently, the time and courtesy I have extended to you have expired. This conversation is termination. You’ll have to do better next time.

      • in_sOmniac

        I guess your “patriotic” habit of lambasting every failure of expectation will carry on with the next president and on and on simply because the issues plaguing our country is anything but simple. Do you honestly believe a 6 year presidential term with no re-election is enough to erase decades of neglect? Hell, we might get lucky if we see continuity with current reforms initiated by this administration on the next. While you are entitled to your opinions, you are anything but unbiased. I have yet to see even a shred of positivity in your posts even if everyone else sees at least some progress in the current administration. My conclusion? You sir are a paid shill.

      • Weder-Weder Lang

        The price of democracy is vigilance. It is every patriotic citizen’s duty to point out what’s wrong with the government and not just sing praises. What about we start with abolishing the corruptible PDAF and all forms of pork which PNoy adamantly refuses to do?

        Note: Unable to argue intelligently, you resort to name calling. Try harder again next time.

      • in_sOmniac

        Oh, truth hurts? :) I just pointed out how patriotic you are.
        Note: Unable to post originally, coined from “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance” and claimed it his own.

      • Weder-Weder Lang

        Now you’re getting emotional. See you again when you have something more intelligent to say. Bye for now.

      • in_sOmniac

        Oh I am just warming up… :)
        Abolish PDAF? Please, you don’t know anything about its legitimate uses and how it helps thousands if not millions of Filipinos. If you want an intelligent discussion, let’s talk. I’ll give you an example of how you think you can do better but in reality you can only think of the easy way out of problems without understanding all the complexities involved. Only talk about abolishing PDAF when you actually know how it will impact people who are not as pampered as you.

  • Manong Johnny

    Keeping my fingers crossed. We’ve had many of these positive forecasts in the past that ultimately don’t pan out.

  • koolkid_inthehouse

    …as long as there are OFWs, Philippines can withstand any external shocks.

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks



latest videos