ADB maintains Philippines' 2021 growth outlook at 4.5 per cent

MANILA, July 20 (Xinhua): The Asian Development Bank (ADB) maintained the growth forecast for the Philippines at 4.5 per cent in 2021 and 5.5 per cent in 2022, according to an update to the Asian Development Outlook 2021 report released on Tuesday by the Manila-based bank.

"Sustained government spending on infrastructure and social assistance programs is supporting recovery, as did a gradual pickup in household spending aided by strong remittances," noted the report.

Private investment remained sluggish, but indicators such as purchasing managers' index (PMI), industrial production, and imports improved gradually, adds the report.

"The government's vaccination effort has accelerated to over 250,000 jabs daily, improving the prospects that community protection in metropolitan Manila could be achieved by year-end."

The Philippine economy shrank by 9.6 per cent in 2020 and by 4.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2021 as the Southeast Asian country grappled with coronavirus lockdown restrictions imposed over the pandemic.

In May, Philippine inter-agency Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) slightly adjusted the GDP growth projection for this year to 6.0-7.0 per cent from 6.5-7.5 per cent.

On Tuesday, the ADB also lowered the economic growth outlook for developing Asia this year to 7.2 percent from the 7.3 percent forecast in April, stressing the Covid-19 pandemic remains the biggest risk to the outlook as outbreaks continue in many economies.

South-East Asia's 2021 outlook is revised to 4.0 percent from 4.4 per cent while the projection for Indonesia, the largest economy in the region, is lowered to 4.1 per cent from 4.5 per cent in April following a surge of infections. - Xinhua

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