Philippines: Robust growth ahead

5 min

Real economic growth slowed to +6.6% y/y in Q4 2017 (from +7% in the previous quarter), taking growth for all of 2017 to +6.7%. On the production side, growth was driven by a strong expansion in industry (+7.3% y/y) and services (+6.8% y/y) while agriculture increased at a more modest pace (+2.4% y/y). On the expenditures side, exports kept rising at a high pace (+18.6% y/y) and public consumption remained a strong driver (+14.3% y/y), followed by investment (+9.3% y/y). Looking ahead, we expect growth to remain robust and edge up to +6.8% in 2018, for several reasons. Firstly, the exports outlook is well oriented, supported by higher economic growth in advanced economies. Secondly, the continued rise in remittances and a solid job market portend firm growth in private consumption. Lastly, investment is set to remain firm, underpinned by a strong business sentiment (manufacturing PMI at 54.2 in December) and a rise in public infrastructure spending (as part of the “Build, Build, Build” program).