The economy could hit growth levels of as much as 10% in 2017 on the strength of the government’s 10-point economic agenda, with consumption-driven expansion fueled by low inflation and a mild interest-rate environment. UA&P economist Dr. Victor A. Abola said “the target is doable,” with President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s blueprint for the economy on track for effective implementation, with much of his agenda being acted on.
The three months ended September represent Mr. Duterte’s first quarter in office, with positive outcomes seen in the economy. GDP was up 7.1% year on year in the third quarter, he said.
Dr. Abola added that the post-election period showed a surge in government spending, reflecting the 10-point agenda’s focus on infrastructure and rural development. “It is gaining a lot of momentum,” he said.
Dr. Bernardo M. Villegas added that 6%-7% growth levels will be considered “mediocre.” “We have to demand 8-10% growth from the Duterte administration,” he said.
He added that an 8-10% range in the next few years should not be a surprise, as the economy has been transitioning to consumption and investment-led growth for the past few months.
He said that the 8% level is conservative. “It is no big deal,” Dr. Villegas said. “India is growing 8% despite political chaos, Myanmar grew 8% despite the corruption, Sri Lanka grew 8%-10% in the last 5 years.”
Domestic demand-driven growth was evident, with Dr. Abola saying that investment is key to fueling this.
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