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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   27 September 2013  

FMIC, UA&P expect PHL growth to stay above govt's 6%-7% target in H2

Philippines: A joint report by First Metro Investment Corp. and the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) is confident that the Philippine economy will stay above the 6 to 7 percent growth in the second half of the year due benign inflation and increased government spending.

"Given the backdrop of decelerating inflation and increased government infrastructure spending, we remain opti?mistic that GDP (gross domestic product) growth in second half will again exceed the 6-7 percent target of the government," the latest issue of The Market Call said.

At the start of the second semester, inflation slowed down to 2.5 percent in July and eased further to 2.1 percent in August, the slowest since hitting 1.7 percent in August 2009.

The report said inflation will be "very much in check" due to mild increases in non-food prices and better harvests starting October amid high crude oil prices because of political tensions in the Middle East.

In July, infrastructure and capital outlays recorded another whopping 45.1 percent year-on-year growth, "reflective of the government’s efforts to promote inclusive growth in the country," the report said.

"The national government will keep its aggressive infrastructure spending in the second half given the low year-to-date deficit so far and the robust tax revenue gains in recent months," according to The Market Call.

Consumer spending is also expected to remain strong as the peso's depreciation will mean more income in the hands of OFW families and will boost exports in the latter half of the year.

Export earnings reached $4.836 billion in July, up 2.3 percent from the $4.727 billion a year earlier.

In the past two months, the peso traded in great volatility due to concerns overseas-which include US Federal Reserve's taper, tensions in Syria-driving the peso to average P43.86 against the dollar in July and to soar to 44.50:$1 in August. — Danessa O. Rivera/BM, GMA News

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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