World Bank revises 2018, 2019 growth forecasts for the Philippines


Posted at Dec 21 2018 12:41 PM

Children play near heavy equipment at a dike construction site in Marikina. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA -- The World Bank on Friday said it has "slightly revised" growth forecasts for the Philippines in 2018 and 2019 to reflect the recent economic trends. 

Projections for the Philippines were lowered to 6.4 percent from 6.5 percent for 2018, and 6.5 percent from 6.7 percent in 2019, the World Bank said in a statement. 

“A strong, consistent delivery of the infrastructure investment agenda while sustaining improvements in health, education and social protection will be key to maintaining the robust and inclusive growth outlook of the Philippines,” said World Bank senior economist Rong Qian.

Despite the revision, the Philippines remains as one of the fast-growing economies in the East Asia and the Pacific Region, the statement said. 

A moderate inflation in the fourth quarter of 2018 is expected to boost consumer confidence and private consumption next year, the World Bank said. 

It said the mid-term election in May is also expected to "strengthen" consumption by temporarily raising employment and disposable incomes in early 2019. 

However, the possible reenactment of the 2019 national budget may affect investment growth in the first quarter, the World Bank said. 

A growth rate of 7 percent next year is "very doable" since inflation will no longer be a factor, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas' Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo earlier said.

Inflation slowed to 6 percent in November, signaling that price increases have started to ease after hitting near 10-year highs.