World Economy

IMF Forecasts Faster Growth in Philippines

IMF Forecasts Faster Growth in Philippines IMF Forecasts Faster Growth in Philippines

The International Monetary Fund and private economists expect second-quarter data on the Philippine economy to show accelerated growth as indicated by a rebound in public disbursement and sustained robust consumer spending during the period.

Such increase in spending must have offset weakness in agriculture output, manufacturing and exports in the three months to June, they said, NewsNow reported.

The IMF did not give a specific quarterly forecast figure, with its resident representative to the Philippines saying only that the multilateral financial institution expects the country’s economy to pick up gradually through the remainder of the year from 5.2% in the first quarter of 2015.

“We would expect the economy to have picked up slightly in the second quarter from the first-quarter level on improvement in government spending disbursements and a bottoming out of the export decline, although manufacturing activity remained weak and may have dragged down growth,” IMF representative Shanaka Jayanath Peiris told reporters in an email over the weekend.

But five other economists polled by The Manila Times see growth in gross domestic product in the range of 5.6% and 6.8% for April to June, recovering from a slowdown at 5.2% in the first quarter.

The low end of their new forecast range, however, remains below the year-earlier growth pace of 6.4%, while the upper end shows only a moderate pick-up.

The government is scheduled to release the official second-quarter GDP data on Thursday this week.

The Moody’s unit expects government spending to be sustained during the rest of the year. “This boost will continue through the second half of 2015,” it said.

Earlier, ING Bank Manila had predicted a faster rate of growth of 6% for the second quarter on the back of increased government spending.

At the Bank of the Philippine Islands, lead economist and Vice President Emilio Neri Jr. said his team is looking at 5.8% year-on-year growth for the second quarter, seeing just a slight improvement from the first quarter as poor weather conditions continued to weigh on output.