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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        14  May 2011

Philippine economy grows

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Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Cayetano Paderanga expects economic growth to grow by more than six percent during the first three months of this year due to a strong agricultural growth.

“I hope (it’s above six percent) growth,” Paderanga said.

In the fourth quarter of last year, GDP grew by 7.1 percent.

Farm output expanded by 4.1 percent in the first three months of the year, the fastest first quarter growth in seven years because of bumper rice harvests, according to the Department of Agriculture.

Agriculture officials have said that farm output for 2011 would likely grow anywhere from 4.5 percent to 5.5 percent.

The strong farm output is expected to support overall economic growth which is projected to hit seven percent to eight percent this year.

The National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) is expected to release economic growth data for March on May 30.

Paderanga also said that the latest tightening by the Bangko Sentral ng PIlipinas (BSP) is not likely to impact negatively on growth because rates before have been low.

“The interest rates before were really quite low,” he said.

Last week, the BSP raised interest rates by 25 basis points to 4.50 percent from 4.25 percent previously on the back of rising inflation.

Inflation in April hit a 12-month high of 4.5 percent, according to the latest data from the National Statistics Office.

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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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