UBS raises 2012 growth forecast for PH economy

Posted at 12/10/2012 5:15 PM | Updated as of 12/10/2012 5:15 PM

MANILA, Philippines - UBS AG raised its 2012 growth forecast for the Philippines to 6.3%, after a stronger-than-expected third quarter.

In a report, UBS economist Edward Teather said the Philippines' gross domestic product (GDP) may reach 6.3% by the end of 2012, above the bank's earlier forecast of 4.5 percent in April this year.

"The upward revision to second-quarter growth released along with the third-quarter GDP numbers does lead us to revise higher our 2012 forecast," Teather said.

The Philippines had revised its second-quarter growth from 5.9% to 6%. In the third quarter, the Philippines reported a 7.1% GDP growth, surprising many economists and analysts.

For 2013, UBS maintained the Philippines' GDP forecast at 4.5%. This is lower than the Philippine government’s official target of 6% to 7%.

"Our 2013 and 2014 real GDP projections are essentially unchanged because the surprisingly strong third-quarter expansion in real GDP of 7.1 percent on the year was largely because of a strong first-quarter and despite a sequential pace of expansion much closer the recent years," he said.

"We remain positive on the Philippine economy. A pick up in investment activity would be a plus for future growth. Also potentially positive are the government's reform efforts. We note the anti-corruption drive, a bill to raise (sin) taxes and the movement towards a peace deal in the southern Philippines."