ADB projects Philippine economy to grow 6.8 pct in 2018, 6.9 pct in 2019

Source: Xinhua| 2018-04-11 13:20:11|Editor: ZD
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MANILA, April 11 (Xinhua) -- The Philippine economy is expected to grow 6.8 percent this year and 6.9 percent in 2019, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said in a new report released on Wednesday.

In its Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2018, ADB says the Philippines' economic growth is expected to sustain its quick pace in 2018 and 2019 as the government's infrastructure program is rolled out.

"ADB projects Philippine gross domestic product (GDP) growth at 6.8 percent this year and 6.9 percent in 2019, up from 6.7 percent in 2017. Rising domestic demand, remittances, and employment, in addition to infrastructure spending, will drive growth," says the ADO.

ADO is ADB's flagship annual economic publication.

"Along with domestic demand, the government's infrastructure investments will fuel the country's growth in the next few years, supported by a sound economic policy setting," said Kelly Bird, ADB Country Director for the Philippines.

"We expect this growth to further lift wage employment numbers, add to household incomes, and benefit more poor families across the archipelago," Bird added.

The Philippines remained one of the strongest growing economies in Southeast Asia in 2017, says the ADO.

A major policy challenge to the country's growth outlook, according to the report, is managing the rollout of the government's "Build, Build, Build" infrastructure program, which is expected to raise public infrastructure spending to 7.3 percent of GDP by 2022 from 4.5 percent in 2016, ADO says.

The report provides suggestions on ways to enhance government capacity, including strengthening coordination between government agencies and improving technical capacity of staff within these agencies, and fostering stronger partnerships between government agencies, the private sector, and development partners.