Dec 7, 2012

ASEAN - PHL, Malaysia Q3 output prompts ADB to raise ASEAN 5 growth forecast

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The surprising growth by the economies of Malaysia and the Philippines in the third quarter prompted the Asian Development Bank to raise forecast for Southeast Asia output, the Manila-based lender reported Friday.

“A strong third quarter lifted prospects in Malaysia and the Philippines, boosting 2012 growth forecasts in the ASEAN 5  from 5.6 percent to 5.9 percent,” the ADB said in its Asian Development Outlook Supplement, referring to Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Southeast Asia as a whole is now expected to registered 5.3 percent in GDP growth, up from the 5.2 percent projected in October, the lender added.

The National Statistics Office last week reported Philippine output – as measured by the gross domestic product – grew 7.1 percent in July to September, the fastest in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and a big surprise for analysts and economic planners.

Expectations were pegged on 5 percent to 6 percent in the third quarter.

The third quarter Philippine output boosted to 6.5 percent the nine-month average from 3.9 percent a year earlier.

International Monetary Fund resident representative Shanaka Jayanath Peirisc on Thursday said Philippine growth may hit 6 percent this year.

Malaysia grew 5.2 percent in July to September, also higher than market expectations.

“The surging economies of Southeast Asia have been a bright spot in developing Asia’s otherwise subdued 2012 growth performance,” ADB said in a statement.

Siegfried Alegado

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