Philippines Ranks 2nd Asia's Fastest Economiic Growth in 2016

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The Metro Manila skyline with its towering commercial and residential buildings, depicts a photo of continued economic progress. (Photo by Jacqueline Hernandez) | Manila Bulletin

PH now Asia’s 2nd fastest-growing economy, expands by 6.8% in 2016

The Philippine economy advanced 6.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016, on the back of higher investment and consumption, bringing the full-year growth to 6.8 percent.

Last year’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate makes the country the second fastest growing major Asian emerging economy, with China growing at 6.7 percent.

National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Director General Ernesto Pernia said this is near the high-end of the government’s target of 6 to 7 percent growth rate for 2016.

While the U.S. and the European Union have criticized President Rodrigo Duterte’s deadly drug war and investors have balked at his anti-U.S. rhetoric, his ambitious $160 billion infrastructure plan and push for greater investment is strengthening the growth outlook.

According to NEDA, expansion in investments grew by 15 percent. Public investment through public construction expanded by 23 percent, faster than the 20.1 percent growth in the third quarter.

Private consumption also thrived to 6.3 percent in the fourth quarter, though slower than the third quarter. The growth has been attributed to high consumer confidence, modest inflation and interest rates, and improving labor market conditions.

The World Bank forecast expansion will exceed 6 percent until 2019, among the fastest growth in the world this decade. (With a report from Bloomberg and Manila Bulletin)

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