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Philippine growth at one-year high as state spending kicks in

Thursday, January 28, 2016 - 12:26
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Philippine growth quickened to the fastest pace in a year after the government took steps to accelerate spending and as consumer spending strengthened.

[MANILA] Philippine growth quickened to the fastest pace in a year after the government took steps to accelerate spending and as consumer spending strengthened.

Gross domestic product increased 6.3 per cent in the three months through December from a year earlier, Philippine Statistics Authority said in Manila Thursday. That compares with a median estimate of 5.9 per cent in a Bloomberg survey of 17 analysts, and a 6.1 per cent pace in the third quarter. The economy expanded 5.8 per cent in 2015.

"Growth is strong, driven by domestic consumption and an acceleration in the government's infrastructure spending," Jeff Ng, a Singapore-based economist at Standard Chartered Plc, said before the report. "There will be some external headwinds this year, but the Philippines will still outperform due to its strong domestic drivers." President Benigno Aquino's efforts to unlock bottlenecks in state spending and rising consumer spending are helping shield the nation from weak global demand. The World Bank forecast the economy will expand more than 6 per cent this year and through 2018, to remain among the fastest in the world.

Aquino, whose term ends in June, is increasing spending to a record. Central bank Governor Amando Tetangco said Monday there's no urgency for now to shore up the economy with stimulus. Exports contracted in most of last year.

BLOOMBERG

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