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Friday, May 24, 2024

World Bank keeps 2024 PH growth forecast

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The World Bank on Wednesday maintained its 2024 growth forecast for the Philippines at 5.8 percent, despite a broader slowdown in the global economy.

The outlook still positions the Philippines as one of the fastest-growing economies in the Asia-Pacific region. It surpasses the bank’s projections for the world (2.4 percent), emerging markets and developing economies (3.9 percent) and East Asia and the Pacific (4.5 percent).

It, however, falls short of the government’s target range of 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent for the year.  The country’s gross domestic product expanded by 5.5 percent in the first three quarters of 2023.

Data from the bank’s latest global economic prospects report showed that the Philippines is expected to outpace Vietnam (5.5 percent), China (4.5 percent), Indonesia (4.5 percent), Malaysia (4.3 percent) and Thailand (3.2 percent) in 2024.

The World Bank also maintained its 2025 growth projection for the Philippines at 5.8 percent.

It predicted that growth in East Asia and Pacific would soften to 4.5 percent in 2024 and 4.4 percent in 2025, largely due to China’s economic slowdown.

Excluding China, the region is expected to fare better, with growth edging up to 4.7 percent in both 2024 and 2025. Pacific Island economies are projected to see a more pronounced uptick in 2024, fueled by continued tourism recoveries.

The report paints a grim picture for developing economies in the medium term. Slowing growth in major economies, sluggish global trade, and the tightest financial conditions in decades are expected to hamper growth prospects.

Global trade growth in 2024 is forecast to be only half the average recorded in the pre-pandemic decade. Developing economies, particularly those with weak credit ratings, are likely to face significant borrowing challenges due to elevated global interest rates.

Global growth is projected to slow for the third consecutive year, from 2.6 percent in 2023 to 2.4 percent in 2024, falling nearly three-quarters of a percentage point below the average of the 2010s, it said.

“Without a major course correction, the 2020s will go down as a decade of wasted opportunity,” said Indermit Gill, the World Bank Group’s chief economist and senior vice president.

He urged governments to take immediate action to accelerate investment and strengthen fiscal policy frameworks to avoid further economic stagnation and hardship, particularly in developing countries.

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