MANILA—An economist of ING Bank Manila continues to see above six percent gross domestic product (GDP) print for the Philippines for 2016 and 2017 despite weak exports.
In a research note, ING Bank Manila senior economist Joey Cuyegkeng forecasts domestic output to be at 6.8 percent for 2016 and 6.2 percent for this year.
He also forecasts a 6.5 percent growth for the economy in the last quarter of 2016 alone and 6.2 percent for the first quarter this year.
“Consumption and investment activity resulted in higher than trend growth. Strong domestic spending has made up for weak export growth,” he said.
The government has a six to seven percent growth target for 2016 and seven to eight percent target for 2017-22.
It is scheduled to report on the economy’s forth quarter and full year 2016 growth on Thursday, January 26.
Cuyegkeng said the one-off effect of election spending helped boost domestic growth last year but lack of it this year is seen to be countered by projected improvement of agriculture, with a 3.3 percent hike this year.
“Economic activity in 2017 would rely on more normal economic activity unless strong investment growth in 2016 is carried over in 2017,” he said.
The economist expects construction to remain strong but cited that domestic growth would see the impact of base effects, thus, the slower GDP projection this year.
“Durable equipment investments this year may eventually slow after a torrid pace of investments in durable equipment in 2016,” he added.