Neda expects economy to expand 6.5% in 2016

The Philippine economy will likely grow 6.5 percent in 2016, on muted impact of La Niña weather phenomenon on the agriculture sector, the National Economic and Development Authority said.

Economic Planning Secretary and Neda director-general Ernesto Pernia said the 6.5-percent gross domestic product growth target for this year was “achievable.”

“I think 6.5 percent should be achievable for the full year,” Pernia told reporters in a recent media briefing.

Pernia’s growth forecast was within the 6 percent to 7 percent growth target set by the inter-agency Development Budget Coordination Committee.

Pernia said the GDP growth would be supported by “better-than-expected” performance of the agriculture sector in the second half.

“Probably because rains have been good.  There’s been a lot of rain but not destructive, so it’s going to be healthy for agriculture,” Pernia said.

Pernia, however, said risks to growth remained, such as the occurrence of typhoons. “Let’s hope that typhoons keep skirting the Philippines,” he said.

The country expanded 7 percent in the second quarter, bringing average growth in the first semester to 6.9 percent.

Multilateral agencies earlier upgraded their growth projections for the Philippines this year.  The International Monetary Fund and the Asian Development Bank on Tuesday upgraded their growth projections, on robust domestic demand, strong private investment and government’s plan to improve infrastructure.

Both the IMF and ADB raised their separate 2016 growth forecasts for the Philippines to 6.4 percent from the previous estimate of 6 percent.

Topics: National Economic and Development Authority , Neda , Philippine economy , La Niña , agriculture sector
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