Economists forecast 6%- 7% GDP growth

Optimistic economists from the University of Asia and the Pacific predict that full-year growth for 2012 may hit 6% to 7%, above government’s more conservative 5%-6% target. The second quarter may see growth accelerating to 7% because of high infrastructure spending, a recovery in agriculture, and strong consumption. The country grew by 6.4% in the first quarter, making it second best growth in Asia next only to China. Economist Dr Bernardo Villegas said he believes a 7%-10% growth rate is possible in the next 10 years. Election spending can boost GDP in the last quarter of 2012, on top of the usual flow of remittances from overseas Filipino workers. Dr Victor Abola predicted the investment environment will remain friendly while the local stock exchange will record a 25.8% increase compared to 2011. The two economists referred to themselves as the “prophets of boom.”

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