World Bank lowers Philippines’ GDP forecast for 2023

MANILA, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) — The World Bank has lowered its growth forecast for the Philippines this year to 5.6 percent, an economic report showed Tuesday.

“The Philippine economy is expected to grow by 5.6 percent in 2023 and edge up to 5.8 percent in 2024,” the World Bank said in its semi-annual Philippines Economic Update.

In an earlier report in June, the World Bank forecast the Southeast Asian country’s GDP growth at 6 percent in 2023, and 5.9 percent in 2024.

The services sector is anticipated to be the main driver of growth, supported by the ongoing recovery of the tourism sector and the consistent performance of the information technology and business process outsourcing industry.

“This activity is likely to stimulate job creation, boost household incomes, and benefit consumption and tourism-related industries,” the report said.

However, high inflation, elevated interest rates, sluggish international trade, and global uncertainties related to ongoing conflicts were major challenges to the growth, the World Bank warned.

“Persistently high inflation amid volatility in global commodity prices, the high cost of borrowing for businesses and households, and geopolitical uncertainty have affected private investments,” said Ndiame Diop, World Bank Country Director for Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand.

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