Philippines growth strong but more needed to be done: ADB
The Philippine economy will maintain its strong momentum in 2013 and 2014, however, the challenge for the country is to make growth more inclusive by promoting employment, Asian Development Bank (ADB) said here today in a new report.
In its newly-released Asian Development Outlook 2013 (ADO 2013), ADB predicts that the gross domestic product (GDP) for the Philippines will increase 6 percent in the year of 2013 and 2014, a little lower than the 6.6 percent growth in 2012.
The 2012 expansion was driven by robust private consumption, a rebound in government spending, and increased investment. Exports also picked up. The services sector was a key growth area, ADB said. According to ADB, upbeat business and consumer sentiment, along with increasing fiscal spending and heating construction activity, will boost growth in the Southeast Asian country in the next few years.
"Governance reforms and prudent macroeconomic management have laid the foundation for strong growth," said Neeraj Jain, ADB's Country Director for the Philippines. "A stronger industrial base is vital for increasing jobs, and will help make growth more inclusive and sustainable."
ADB warned that the persistently high levels of unemployment and underemployment, with the latter at 20 percent of the labor force in 2012, remain a key concern in the Philippines. In order to promote the employment, the Philippine government is advised to revive the industrial/manufacturing sector, where the country has lagged most other larger countries in the region.