IMF cuts PH GDP forecast to 6.2% in 2015

MANILA, Philippines – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has revised its economic growth outlook for the Philippines this year to 6.2% from 6.7%.

IMF resident representative Shanaka Jayanath Peiris said the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast was revised downwards based on the World Economic Outlook (WEO) for July. 

“Real GDP is projected to grow by 6.2% in 2015 as lower commodity prices lift household consumption and improved budget execution raises public spending, though slightly lower than expected previously due to weaker global growth and a fiscal deficit below targeted,” Peiris said.

The revised IMF forecast is lower than the government's  GDP growth target of 7% to 8% this year.

The IMF releases its WEO report in April and September or October every year, while an updated WEO is also released every January and July of each year.

The IMF sees the country’s economic expansion picking up to 6.5% instead of 6.3% next year, on the back of higher spending.

“Growth expected to accelerate further in 2016 to 6.5% as the budget deficit widens to the targeted 2% of GDP and in line with potential growth,” Peiris said.

The Philippines posted a 5.2% GDP growth in the first quarter of the year, from 5.6%  in the same quarter in 2014 on the back of government underspending due to the delayed implementation of much-needed infrastructure projects.

It missed its GDP growth target of 6.5% to 7.5% in 2014, posting a growth of 6.1% – lower than the previous year's 7.2% GDP growth.

The IMF also  lowered its global growth forecast this year to 3.3% from 3.5%.

The IMF said the Greek crisis would have a marginal effect on the global economy, but was mum on the possible negative impact of China's stock market meltdown.

The fund expects growth in advanced economies to increase to 2.1% in 2015, and 2.4% in 2016. Growth in emerging market and developing economies is projected to slow to 4.2% in 2015 from 4.6% in 2014. – Rappler.com