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Philippines Grew 7% in Q4

Philippines Grew 7% in Q4Philippines Grew 7% in Q4

The economy likely grew 7% in the last three months of 2016, matching the expansion in the two preceding quarters, as manufacturing picked up, Sun Life Financial Philippines said Wednesday.

Growth in 2017, however, will likely slow to 6.7% due to the absence of election spending that aided growth in the previous year, said Sun Life chief investments officer Mike Enriquez, ABC/CBS reported.

The median of a Reuters poll predicted a 6.5% expansion in the fourth quarter. The country’s GDP grew by 7.1% in the 3rd quarter of 2016. The Philippine Statistics Office will release gross domestic product data on Thursday.

Enriquez said potential investors would consider the Philippines’ economic fundamentals over US President Donald Trump’s protectionist policies when making decisions. “It will still be economics over politics with regards to how businesses decide on whether to outsource critical functions to Asia or bring back jobs to the US,” he said.

The local business process outsourcing industry, he said, has been expanding its client base to Europe and Australia.

Enriquez said, President Rodrigo Duterte’s billion-peso infrastructure rebuild will provide incentive to Filipinos working in construction sites abroad to come home.

“We don’t have enough workers to do these major construction projects. We need workers back in the country,” he said. Returning OFWs can also find work in manufacturing, he added.

Meanwhile, the Philippines is expected to remain the fastest-growing economy in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations 6 this year, thanks to rising infrastructure spending and domestic demand, said economists of Standard Chartered Global Research.

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