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PH economy seen growing at fastest pace in region

/ 12:32 AM March 23, 2017

The Philippines is likely to grow at the fastest pace among key Southeast Asian economies this year and next while the regional bloc as a whole continues to evolve into a fertile ground for investors, regional investment powerhouse Maybank Kim Eng Group said.

Maybank Kim Eng, which shared its macroeconomic outlook in a briefing during the “Invest Asean” forum in Singapore on Tuesday, expects its six core markets in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean-6) to grow by an average 4.8 percent compared to 4.6 percent last year.

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Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam comprise Asean-6.

“Asean continues to grow and has momentum,” said Maybank Kim Eng chief executive Dato John Chong Chong, adding that the momentum would be driven by trade recovery, rebound in commodity prices and improving global electronics demand.

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Next year, the investment house expects Asean-6 to sustain an average growth rate of 5.3 percent.

In the case of the Philippines, Maybank Kim Eng expects gross domestic product (GDP) growth to remain strong at 6.4 percent this year and 6.5 percent in 2018, outperforming the projected regional average. The domestic economy grew by 6.8 percent last year, although this included an extraordinary boost from the presidential elections.

Within Asean-6, the Philippines is seen to post the fastest pace of growth this year and next, followed by Vietnam, which is seen to grow by 6.3 percent this year and 6.2 percent in 2018.

Maybank Kim Eng expects Indonesia and Thailand to grow by 5.1 percent and 4.5 percent, respectively, this year and by 5.3 percent and 4.5 percent in 2018. Malaysia is seen to grow by 4.4 percent this year and 4.5 percent next year while Singapore is projected to expand by a modest 2.5 percent this year and 2.3 percent in 2018.

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TAGS: Maybank Kim Eng Group, PH economy, Southeast Asian economies
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