World Bank downgrades Philippines' GDP growth forecast for 2018, 2019

Published: December 21, 2018 12:53:41 | Updated: December 26, 2018 14:00:40

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The World Bank (WB) said on Friday that it has downgraded its growth projections for the Philippines to 6.4 per cent in 2018 and 6.5 per cent in 2019 "to reflect recent economic trends."

These new forecast numbers are slight revisions of the global lender’s growth projections of 6.5 per cent for 2018 and 6.7 per cent for 2019, released through the Philippines Economic Update in October.

"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," Rong Qian, a World Bank senior economist, said in a statement.

While persistent high inflation may temper private consumption growth in the fourth quarter of 2018, the WB said a moderation in inflation in following quarters is expected to boost consumer confidence and raise private consumption in 2019, reports Xinhua.

Also, it said the mid-term election next May is also expected to strengthen consumption by temporary raising employment and disposable incomes in early 2019.

"Investment growth however maybe be tempered in the first half of 2019 due to the possible reenactment of the first-quarter 2019 budget following a delay in the budget approval process," the statement read.

Nonetheless, it said the Philippines remains one of the fast-growing economies in East Asia and the Pacific region.

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