Japan think tank sees rosy picture for PH GDP, but risks for wider Asean-4

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Japan think tank sees rosy picture for PH GDP, but risks for wider Asean-4

Japan Center for Economic Research (JCER) | INQUIRER.net stock photo

MANILA, Philippines – A slowdown in China’s economy and the strict “zero COVID-19” policy on the mainland’s economic recovery at risk in Asean-4, though think tank Japan Center for Economic Research (JCER ) maintained its 2022 growth forecast for the Philippines at 7.1%, the highest in the region.

“Asean-4’s year-on-year real gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate declined from 4.4% in the fourth quarter of 2021 to 4.9% in the first quarter of 2022 due to “firm private consumption. Private consumption is expected to remain robust as people’s mobility improves with the easing of COVID-19 related restrictions during and after the second quarter,” JCER said in a report released on Tuesday. June 14. In addition to the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand belonged to the Asean-4 grouping of JCER.

In the case of the Philippines, the JCER projected GDP growth in 2022 to be within the government’s narrower target range of 7-8%.

JCER’s growth forecast for the Philippines in 2022 was higher than its projections of 5.4% for Malaysia, 4.7% for Indonesia and 3.5% for Thailand.

Following Stronger Than Expected First Quarter Expansion of 8.3%, JCER Expects Second Quarter GDP to Grow 8.7%; the third quarter by 6.9%; and the fourth quarter by 4.8% due to lower base effects.

JCER also expects the Philippine economy to grow quarter-over-quarter in the four quarters of 2022, indicating continued recovery amid the dismantling of pandemic restrictions.

However, JCER has tempered its 2023 GDP growth forecast for the Philippines to 5.1% from 5.9% previously, below the government’s 6-7% target.

One of the reasons cited by President Rodrigo Duterte’s economic directors when they lowered this year’s growth target from the more ambitious and wider range of 7% to 9% was the slowdown in China, given that t is one of the main trading partners of the Philippines.

The JCER warned that across Asean-4, “exports will fall in the second quarter of 2022 and their recovery will be modest in the third quarter.”

“In these neighborhoods, [Asean-4’s] exports will face downward pressure due to China’s economic slowdown and distortions in international trade and specialization, both of which will be caused by China’s restrictive COVID-19 measures,” JCER said.

The JCER lowered its GDP growth forecast for China in 2022 to 5% from 5.4% previously, which is even lower than last year’s 8.1% real expansion, in part due to “tough lockdown measures implemented in major cities in response to the spread of COVID-19”.

While Asean-4 growth this year would likely exceed last year’s 3.5%, JCER’s updated forecast of regional GDP expansion of 4.9% for 2022 was lower than its previous expectations. by 5.6%.

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