World Bank: Boosted spending can expand Philippine economy

Markets Associated Press

The World Bank says the Philippine economy may grow faster than expected if public infrastructure spending is increased as planned.

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The bank said if that happened, the country's economic growth may exceed the earlier forecasts of 6.4 percent this year and 6.2 percent in the next two years.

It also noted Monday that some businesses might be cautious given uncertainty over the ultimate direction of macroeconomic policy under President Rodrigo Duterte's administration.

A bank report says in 2017, 40 percent of planned government spending on infrastructure will be for roads, railways, seaports and airports — spending that can boost industrial activities, real estate, construction and tourism.

World Bank lead economist Brigit Hansl says domestic consumption will also continue to prop up the economy.