By Joann Villanueva
MANILA — An economist of ING Bank Manila dubbed as a welcome development Fitch Rating’s upgrade of its outlook on the Philippines’ credit rating from “stable” to “positive” on account of the sustained improvement of macroeconomic policies.
In a statement, ING Bank Manila senior economist Nicholas Mapa said: “amidst the projected slowdown in global growth, the improvement in the outlook was welcome.”
“In the coming months, PH growth to take a hit from the projected slowdown but it appears that the Philippines is better suited to weather the impending financial and economic tempest given its solid macroeconomic fundamentals and external position,” he added.
Fitch Ratings sees the positive macroeconomic policy framework in the country as a strong backing for “high growth rates with moderate inflation, progress on fiscal reforms that should keep government debt within manageable levels and continued resilience in its external factors.”
It projects domestic growth, as measured by gross domestic product (GDP), to rise to 6.4 percent this year and 6.5 percent next year.
This outlook was traced to expectations of strong private consumption and increasing government infrastructure investments.
“On current projections, the Philippines will remain among the fastest-growing economies in the Asia-Pacific region in 2020-2021, well above the current ‘BBB’ median,” it said.
The debt rater cited as risks to domestic growth the impact of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) and natural disasters. (PNA)