Philippine Economic Outlook “Favorable” – IMF

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Philippines’ economic outlook

“favorable”—IMF

10:54 pm | Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

MANILA, Philippines—The International Monetary Fund on Wednesday praised the Philippine government for its handling of the economy, saying the country’s outlook was “favorable” despite the shaky global recovery.

The fund said it expected the Philippine economy to grow at five percent both this year and the next despite a minor slowdown experienced in the first half of this year.

“The near-term outlook for the Philippines is favorable, characterized by moderating but still rapid growth,” the IMF said in a statement following a staff visit to the country.

Although growth eased in the first half of 2011 in part due to the effects of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis in Japan, economic activity is expected to pick up for the rest of the year, the statement added.

The fund also lauded the government of President Benigno Aquino, who took office in June 2010, for starting “reforms to address long-standing constraints to growth.”

They include fiscal reforms aimed at raising the necessary revenues to allow for faster growth, which benefits greater numbers of the Philippine’s impoverished population, the IMF added.

The country’s financial sector had remained resilient while the central bank had acted “appropriately” by raising interest rates and banks’ reserve requirement earlier this year to deal with inflationary pressures.

The Philippine government previously announced that economic growth slowed to 4.9 percent in the three months to March.

The government has forecast growth of five to six percent this year.

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