The Philippine economy is likely to retain its robust growth momentum in the coming months on the back of a decent recovery in exports and healthy domestic demand, Capital Economics economist Gareth Leather said.
Annual economic growth eased to 6.4 percent in the first three months of the year from 6.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2.16.
The modest slowing was mainly due to a pullback in private consumption, government spending and investment growth. Export growth improvement was offset by a pick-up in import growth.
"Consumption should remain buoyant, supported by strong sentiment, healthy household finances and low interest rates," Leather said.
The Philippine President Duterte is committed to a big increase in infrastructure spending," the economist said
"With debt levels very low, government spending is likely to be a key driver of growth over the next couple of years," Leather added.
The economist also expects strong global demand to provide a boost to exports over the coming months.
Further, President Donald Trump has tempered his protectionist threats, which is positive for the Philippines with its large business outsourcing sector and high level of remittances with the US, the economist said.
"On balance, we are sticking our GDP growth forecast of 6.5 percent for both 2017 and 2018," Leather concluded.
by RTT Staff Writer
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