PH economy seen growing by 8% in 2013

Posted at 12/20/12 4:52 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Economist Bernardo Villegas predicts a slowdown in the property market in three years' time.

In particular, high-end residential properties will bear the brunt of the slowdown.

"Those units in Fort Bonifacio, Rockwell. There will be a correction, an oversupply, I'm sure of that, within three years," he said on ANC's Inside Business.

But the University of Asia & the Pacific economist clarified the slowdown is not a cause for alarm because it will not lead to a burst of the property bubble.

"There will not be a bubble because the ones buying are not buying on credit. It's their money that they're using so they can afford to wait.  They will find their units vacant, but they won't panic and start selling units," Villegas said.

8% GDP in 2013?

Meanwhile, Villegas expects the economy to grow 8% next year, higher than government's target of 6-7%.

"Next year, all the engines of growth that made 7.1% possible in the third quarter will be stronger. A lot of the projects that have been postponed because of the fears of corruption will be going full steam," he said.

The Philippines surprised many when it recorded a 7.1% GDP growth in the third quarter, one of the fastest rates in Asia.

Villegas pointed out the May elections will boost economic growth further.

"You have public works using more than 80-90% of what they're supposed to use. You have more and more of these PPPs precisely because there's so much money in the system. You have the Ramon Angs, Manny Pangilinans and Henry Sys, wanting to get into projects. I'm sure in 2013, we will see a lot of engine of growth - the money for the elections. Take a look at the last four elections. It was clearly shown that elections contibute 1 to 2 percentage points more to GDP," Villegas said.

On Wednesday, the World Bank raised its growth forecast for the Philippines to 6% this year and 6.2% in 2013. - With ANC