Philippines GDP growth seen at 6.2 pct in 2014 - UN report

Posted at 01/21/14 11:22 AM


MANILA, Philippines - East Asia is expected to remain the fastest-growing region in the world, according to the United Nations World Economic Situation and Prospects 2014 (WESP) report.

The UN WESP report said the average gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the region is projected at 6.1% for 2014 and 2015. It said average GDP in East Asia grew 6% in 2013.

"The report predicts that private consumption and investment will continue to expand at a robust pace in most East Asian countries, supported by stable labor market conditions, low inflation and fairly accommodative monetary policies. Fiscal policies will remain moderately expansionary, providing support for growth," the UN WESP report said.

"However, the report warns that growth could be threatened by a sharp slowdown in the Chinese economy, as well as an abrupt tightening of external financing conditions triggered by the US Federal Reserve Bank’s exit from monetary expansion," it added.

For the Philippines, the UN WESP expects GDP growth to slow to 6.2% in 2014, lower than the government's target of 6.5% to 7.5% in 2014. It also expects the Philippine economy to grow by 6.3% in 2015.

The report noted for 2013, the Philippine economy was seen to have grown by 6.7% . The government will release the 2013 GDP results on January 30.

"In November 2013, the country was hit by a severe storm and flooding, which caused many deaths and widespread destruction. In economic terms, the effect is a small reduction in growth in 2013, with reconstruction possibly adding to growth in 2014," the UN WESP report said.

Despite the slowdown, the Philippines' GDP growth is still expected to be the second fastest in East Asia, after China is forecast to grow 7.5% in 2014.

However, the report cited the rise in unemployment in the Philippines despite economic growth.

"Translating economic growth into employment opportunities remains a significant challenge in the Philippines. Despite growth of 7.6 per cent in the first half of 2013, the unemployment rate rose to 7.3 per cent in July as the economy failed to create sufficient full-time jobs to accommodate the rapidly growing labor force," the report said.