Economy grew 5.9% in 2015, says survey

The gross domestic product likely expanded 5.7 percent to 5.9 percent for the full of 2015, or much lower than the government’s target of 7 percent to 8 percent, economists and analysts polled by The Standard said Monday.

The economy grew 5.0 percent and 5.7 percent in the first and second quarters, respectively, before expanding 6.0 percent in the third quarter to push the average to 5.6 percent in the nine-month period.

The government is set to release the GDP data for the full year of 2015 on Thursday.

Standard Chartered economist Jeff Ng predicted a 5.7 percent economic growth for the full year of 2015 following a slower expansion of 5.9 percent in the last quarter amid weak external demand for the country’s exports. 

“External demand likely remained a drag as merchandise export growth continued to fall in October and November,” Ng said in an e-mail. 

ING Bank economist Joey Cuyegkeng also sees GDP growing at 6.0 percent in the fourth quarter, bringing the full-year expansion to between 5.6 percent to 5.7 percent. 

Accord Capital Equities Corp analyst Justino Calaycay Jr. saw the economy  growing 5.9 percent in 2915.

DBS Bank of Singapore, in a separate statement, said it expects the  economy to grow 6.1 percent from an expected 5.7 percent last year, giving Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas more room to maintain its current policy stance in the months ahead.

“Recent data support our view that GDP growth is likely to tick up to 6.1 percent this year... ,” the bank said.

Diana del Rosario of Deutsche Bank saw a more robust growth of 6.3 percent in the last quarter to bring the full-year expansion to 5.8 percent. 

“GDP growth increased in fourth quarter largely because government spending rose substantially from a relatively low base,” del Rosario said in an e-mail.

Bank of the Philippine Islands’ lead economist and vice president Emilio Neri projected a 6.2-percent growth in the last quarter of 2015 and 5.8 percent for the whole year. 

Moody’s Analytics earlier said the economy grew at a slower pace of 5.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015, bringing full-year figure to 5.7 percent. 

“Philippine GDP growth likely cooled to 5.9 percent year-on-year in the December quarter, after the September quarter’s 6 percent. This brings full-year GDP growth to 5.7 percent in 2015, making the Philippines one of Asia’s fastest-growing economies last year,” Moody’s said.

ANZ Research economist Eugenia Victorino said the economy grew 5.9 percent in the last quarter of 2015 due to base effects.

“Although government spending likely missed the government’s target, we expect an improvement in fourth quarter. Credit growth remained robust. In sum, we expect 2015 full year growth to have posted 5.7 percent year-on-year. We forecast GDP growth to accelerate to 6.0 percent in 2016,” Victorino said in an e-mail. 

The International Monetary Fund last week said the Philippine economy likely grew 5.7 percent in 2015 and expected it to rebound with a more than 6-percent expansion in 2016 and 2017.

IMF resident representative to the Philippines Shanaka Jayanath Peiris said while the multilateral lender slightly slightly reduced the growth forecasts for the Philippines, the country would remain one of the fastest growing in Asia.

“The growth estimate for 2015 was revised down to 5.7 percent from 6 percent, reflecting growth outturns in the third quarter and weaker global growth performance,” Peiris said in an e-mailed statement. With Julito G. Rada

Topics: Economy , survey , GDP
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