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MUFG of Japan bullish on PH, sees economy growing 6.7% in 2022

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MUFG, a leading financial services group and one of the largest banking institutions in Japan, maintained on Wednesday its projection of a 6.7-percent GDP growth for the Philippines this year, taking into account the strong 7.6-percent expansion in the third quarter and 7.7 percent in the first nine months.

MUFG senior currency analyst for global markets research Jeff Ng said the outlook looked promising for the Philippines.

“We see GDP growing by 6.7 percent this year [following the third-quarter expansion]. Next year, GDP may grow by 6 percent,” Ng said in an online MUFG Insights briefing.

Ng said the third-quarter expansion was supported by domestic drivers and investments, and this could continue in the coming months. “For the year ahead, private consumption will remain strong backed by public spending and remittances,” he said.

The bank in August upgraded its GDP growth forecast for the Philippines to 6.7 percent from 6.5 percent.

Ng said while the external environment remained complicated affecting global economies, some normalizations could happen as the global health crisis situation was stabilizing.

“The Philippines currently is in the upswing despite the challenges, and growth will remain above the ten-year average,” Ng said. He said one bright spot is the tourism sector.

The economy expanded 7.6 percent in the third quarter this year, faster than 7 percent a year ago, bucking the domestic and external headwinds such as the rising interest rates, elevated inflation and geopolitical tensions in Eastern Europe.

The third-quarter growth was faster than 7.5 percent in the second quarter. This resulted in an average GDP growth of 7.7 percent in the first three quarters, surpassing the government’s target range of 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent for the whole year.

This made the Philippines the second-fastest growing economy in the region in the third quarter, next to Vietnam’s 13.7 percent and ahead of Indonesia’s 5.7 percent.

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