MANILA, Jan 14 (Mabuhay) – The World Bank further cut its growth projection in 2014 for the Philippine economy that it said was weighed down by the slow government spending,the Washington-based multilateral lender said on Wednesday.
But the local economy is expected to rebound in the next two years, thanks to the realization that government has to spend more for infrastructure, the WB added.
In its latest Global Economic Prospects released Wednesday, the agency said the Philippine economy likely grew by six percent last year, less than one percent lower than the earlier forecast of 6.4 percent.
Lead economist Rogier van den Brink said this was due to “the slowdown in government spending in the third quarter and limited opportunities to raise government spending in the fourth quarter.”
“However, growth is expected to rebound this year and also in 2016… primarily hinged on the ability of the government to fully implement the budget and the Yolanda master plan,” he told reporters in a briefing in Taguig.
The World Bank forecasts a 6.5 percent growth in 2015—lower from the earlier projection of 6.7 percent—and 6.5 percent in 2016.
Other factors that will drive growth include the positive outlook of consumers and businesses, stronger foreign direct investments and falling oil prices, Van den Brink said.
“Much lower oil prices can boost manufacturing and consumption. In fact, the Philippines is one of the biggest beneficiaries of falling oil prices in the world,” he added.
On Tuesday, crude oil prices hit their lowest in almost six years to $45 per barrel as United Arab Emirates, a big Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) producer, stood by the group’s decision not to cut output to tackle a supply glut, Reuters reported. (MNS)