IMF Philippine Government Economy

IMF and Economists Eye Strong Philippines Economic Rebound in 2024

Economists, echoing the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) optimism, foresee a robust economic rebound for the Philippines in 2024. Key factors influencing the trajectory include fiscal policies, geopolitics, and environmental considerations.

The IMF’s Executive Board, following the 2023 Article IV consultation, projects a notable recovery with a 6.0% GDP growth anticipated in 2024. This positive outlook hinges on a number of expectations. Firstly, the amplified private sector investments. Secondly, the increased government spending. Last but not least, heightened external demand for the nation’s exports.

Economic experts weigh in

Economist, Carlos Manapat, emphasized in an interview that realizing these expectations is pivotal for attaining the IMF’s optimistic forecast. Manapat is Chair of the economics department at the University of Santo Tomas (UST).

“If the IMF’s expectations come true, then its growth forecast for the Philippines is attainable,” Manapat stated. He highlighted the potential positive impact of aggressively promoting the country’s export sector, despite short-term expectations of the Philippines remaining a net importer.

Roberto Galang, identified three significant factors, or “tailwinds,” for the government to address in 2024. These include the effects of the El Niño phenomenon on agriculture, right-of-way issues affecting infrastructure targets, and consequences of recent geopolitical and peace developments. Galang is Dean of Ateneo de Manila’s John Gokongwei School of Management.

Galang urged proactive measures to address potential challenges, emphasizing the impact on agricultural output, water supply, and consumer spending. He also stressed the importance of clearer right-of-way rules to expedite infrastructure projects.

IMF report underscores Philippine government programs

In its December 15 report, the IMF underscored the significance of the government’s infrastructure program and increased foreign investment access. The report also emphasized private sector participation through public-private partnerships (PPPs) as crucial elements for achieving a growth potential of 6–6.5% over the medium term.

Galang highlighted the government’s approach to geopolitical issues, particularly the West Philippine Sea dispute, as pivotal for economic growth. He expressed hope for opportunities in tourism, agriculture, and infrastructure development. Improved peace and order, coupled with agreements, fuels optimism.

In summary, economists stress the importance of navigating fiscal policies, geopolitical considerations, and environmental challenges for the Philippines to realize its economic potential in 2024.

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