S&P: PH leads ASEAN growth

The credit rating agency says the Philippines has overtaken Indonesia as ASEAN's economic leader

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines is now Southeast Asia’s economic growth leader, taking over Indonesia, according to credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P).

In a report released on Monday, August 5, S&P said the Philippines’ gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to expand by almost 7% in 2013.

This is higher than the 5.5% collective GDP growth forecast for ASEAN countries — Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

“The Philippines, which S&P recently upgraded to investment grade, has taken over the ASEAN growth leadership role from Indonesia. We project Philippine GDP to expand by almost 7% this year, moderating to 6%-6.5% in 2014 and 2015,” S&P said.

The country grew 7.8% in the first quarter.

ASEAN outperforms other AsiaPac economies

Strong domestic trading in ASEAN countries, S&P said, allows the region to outperform other economies in the Asia-Pacific region.

“The more domestically oriented economies in ASEAN continued their trend after the global financial crisis by outperforming the trade-dependent, newly industrialized economies of Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan,” the agency noted.

S&P also said that Southeast Asia is also more resilient to the economic slowdown brought about by the declining pace of investments in China and weak global trade.

“These economies are more domestically focused than the newly industrialized economies and therefore tend to do better when global growth is sluggish.”

The rating agency lowered its growth forecasts for Asia-Pacific 5.3% from 5.5% for 2013, and 5.6% from 6% for 2014, on the account of slower demand from Europe and China’s weak economic performance. – Rappler.com