11/28/2012, 00.00
PHILIPPINES
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Manila, booming economy: growth exceeds (also) the estimates

The figure for the third quarter (July/September) showed a 7.1% increase compared to the same period in 2011. From "the sick man of Asia", the Philippines have become "the region's diamond." The country is among the top 10 in the world in 2012 for economic growth. Mindanao opens investment after the agreement between the government and the MILF.

http://www.asianews.it/files/img/size2/FILIPPINE_-_cantieri_e_costruzioni.jpgManila (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Economic growth in the Philippines has exceeded even the experts' forecasts, recording an increase in the third quarter of 7.1% thanks to the consumer's index, positive figures in the export sector and investments decided by the government. The results confirm the potential of a nation once considered the "sick man of Asia" and now renamed - from economists at the Royal Bank of Scotland - for the year 2012 "the diamond of the region." Manila is second behind China, which remains the engine of the world economy though with some difficulty, and has surpassed Indonesia (6.2% in July/September) and Malaysia which grew by 5.2%.

Analysts' forecasts had estimated growth for the Philippines to be around 5.4%. However, the forecasts have been exceeded, hitting 7.1% (the data refer to July/September 2011) and recording an increase of 1.3% over the previous quarter. The data, which came as a surprise even to experts, will probably make a further cut interest rates "not necessary", such a cut has been made four times already this year by the Philippine Central Bank with a view to development.

Also contributing to strengthening the growth rates has been the strong domestic demand for products, the costs in public works and infrastructure desired by the central government and the increase in foreign investment in the Asian country. In particular, the data on exports - a sector long under pressure - has shown a speedy recovery in the month of September, when it registered a more than 22% increase compared with the same month of 2011.

On an annual basis, experts assure that the national economy will be able to exceed its target of 6% growth by 2012. A key factor for development is the peace agreement reached recently between the central government and rebel militias in Muslim Mindanao , an island rich in oil and raw materials that - in the foreseeable future - will ensure contracts and investments of up to a billion dollars.

President Benigno Aquino has given a push to spending, looking for investors to increase to nearly 17 billion dollars the amount in the pot for the construction of roads and airports. What is certain is that the Philippines will be among the top 10 countries in the world for economic growth in 2012, in a general gloomy framework in which Europe and the United States are struggling to find their way to recovery. The reforms lauched by the head of state and the ruling coalition have led to growth in consumption and, particularly in Manila, an increase in property that is considered "the best in the last two decades."

 

 

 

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