PH still one of Asia’s best performers despite high inflation

PH still one of Asia’s best performers despite high inflation

The detractors of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte will not like this news.
Despite the inflation surge we experienced in the latter part of this year with the spike in world oil prices the Philippines remains to be one of Asia’s best-performing economies and is even poised to move up to upper middle-income status if the trend continues.
“The economy has been on a roll. It has been growing at least 6 percent for 14 consecutive quarters now,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said, noting that economic growth is sustained and uninterrupted.

NEDA Secretary Ernesto Pernia Jr. (photo credit to owner)

The Philippines’ gross domestic product (GDP) slowed down to 6.3 percent in the first three quarters of 2018 from 6.8 percent during the same period in 2017, dragged by lower agricultural output and softened household consumption amid accelerated increase in prices, particularly food.
NEDA explains that the country needs to expand by at least 7 percent in the fourth quarter to attain the low-end of the government’s target of 6.5 to 6.9 percent for the whole of 2018.
“This is a tall order, but the government remains committed to reaching the revised growth target for the year, which 6.4 to 6.9 percent,” said Pernia, also the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Director General.
Inflation rate
After experiencing a nine-year high of 6.7 % in September and October, a four month low of 6 percent was experienced last month.
The Duterte economic team cites the issuance of Administrative Order No. 13, which removed restrictions on the importation of agricultural products, as crucial in the country’s efforts to bring down the prices such of rice, fish, meat, vegetables, and fruits for the common folk.
“Notwithstanding, the positive development in the global oil market will also help in tempering consumer prices further over the near term, particularly of energy-related items,” Pernia added.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) projects inflation of the country to an average at 5.2 percent this year, and to ease in 2019 to 3.2 percent.
PH’s 2019 outlook 
Secretary Pernia sees the economy accelerating closer to 7 percent next year on the back of infrastructure and election spending.
“The resilience of the Philippine economy in 2018 will likely continue over the medium term. With key reforms scored this year, we expect the performance of the economy to be robust despite domestic and external risks. This will be supported by the “Build, Build, Build” program gaining steam expected next year,” he said.

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Report from PTV

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