Foreign bank HSBC increased its growth forecast for 2016 to the Philippines after the higher-than-expected economic expansion in the third quarter this year.
The government, on Thursday, reported a 7.1 percent growth, as measured by gross domestic product (GDP), for the third quarter, the highest in Asia for the said period and highest for the domestic economy since 2013.
This growth is stronger than quarter-ago’s seven percent output and year-ago’s 6.2 percent print and brought the year-to-date GDP to seven percent, the upper end of the government’s six to seven percent target this year.
HSBC, in a report, said this turnout “points to the resilience of the Philippine economy in a soft global growth environment”, thus, the revision of its growth forecast for the country this year to 6.8 percent from 6.5 percent earlier.
“Momentum to continue into 2017 on the back of infrastructure spending and resilient remittances,” it said.
It noted that risks to growth “are manageable” despite the election of Republican Party candidate Donald Trump as the next US president.
It said the incoming Trump administration “introduces some risks to growth due to the possibility of protectionist policies, but we believe risks to the Philippines are manageable and more limited than elsewhere.”
Major risk from the incoming US government will be the Philippines’ business process outsourcing (BPO) sector that employs about 1.2 million Filipinos, 70 percent of whom earn from inflows from the US, it said.
The report, however, pointed out that risks remain manageable.
“We think risks are mitigated because there is little direct competition with American workers, and President Rodrigo Duterte appears to have struck a more conciliatory tone concerning future cooperation with the US,” it said.
The report also forecasts decline of US’ share in terms of investments to the Philippines, from being on top to just second after China by 2017.