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World Bank: PHL to keep growing until 2015 amid global weakness

January 16, 2013 11:53am
The Philippine economy will grow faster than the world average until 2015, relatively shielded from continued uncertainties in Europe and the United States, the World Bank reported Wednesday. 
In its latest Global Economic Prospects released Wednesday, the Washington-based multilateral lender projected the Philippine gross domestic product (GDP) to grow 6.3 percent in 2015, down from 6.4 percent in 2014, but faster than the 2013 full-year forecast of 6.2 percent. 
For  2012, the World Bank projects Philippine GDP to settle at 6 percent. 
The strength of the Philippine economy is in line with the East Asia and the Pacific region outpacing neighbors with a growth of 7.9 percent in 2013, before slowing down to 7.6 percent in 2014 and 7.5 percent in 2015. 
“The East Asia and the Pacific region, especially China and ASEAN economies, enter 2013 with a strong carryover of growth from 2012, in contrast to the situation in high-income countries and many developing economies,” the report read. 
Without China, the region is still expected to post a 5.8 percent GDP growth this year and 5.9 percent for both 2014 and 2015. 
University of Asia and Pacific school of economics dean Peter Lee U agreed with the World Bank's latest report. 
“Positive indicators are still there for the Philippines and, except for China, we will be better than most of the region,” the economist told GMA News Online. 
Robust consumption, increased infrastructure spending due to the Aquino administration's public-private partnership program, and possible uptick in investments or the local drivers... will cushion the impact of a weak world economy,” Lee U noted.
“The East Asia and Pacific region has rebounded, driven by robust domestic demand in China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand and a surge in exports toward the newly industrialized economies (NIE) of the region,” the report read. 
“Improved global financial conditions, a gradual pickup of growth in high-income countries and a return to more normal global trade growth are expected to support a gradual strengthening of output in East Asia and the Pacific between 2013 and 2015,” it added. 
The region's growth compares with the relatively weak global growth of 2.4 percent in 2013 and the 3.1 percent in 2014 and 3.3 percent in 2015 – as the European economy stutters to escape its financial quagmire and the United States struggles with its fiscal policy. 
“The economic recovery remains fragile and uncertain, clouding the prospect for rapid improvement and a return to more robust economic growth,” said World Bank Group president Jim Yong Kim in a statement. 
“We have to continue to support developing countries in making investments in infrastructure, in health, in education. This will set the stage for the stronger growth that we know that they can achieve in the future,” he added. — VS, GMA News
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