MANILA, May 5 (PNA) -- The ASEAN + 3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO) Report naming the Philippines as top economic performer in the region is yet another confirmation that, despite criticisms, optimism remains high that Philippine economic growth will continue its upward trajectory under President Rodrigo Duterte, Malacañang said Friday.
“The AMRO report naming the Philippines as the top economic performer in the region underscores that amid the political noise, trust and confidence of the market and business in the Duterte administration continue,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a statement.
“We have shown remarkable progress in less than a year in office. Our growth remains one of the highest in the region and the government’s commitment to accelerate infrastructure investments in the next five years will surely improve our competitiveness and living standards and reduce poverty,” Abella said.
In its flagship report released Thursday, the Singapore-based AMRO said the Philippines will be one of the fastest-growing economies in a grouping of Southeast Asia plus China, Japan and South Korea as a result of policies and reforms put in place in the wake of the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis.
AMRO chief economist Hoe Ee Khor said “the Philippines is a star performer in this group... and it has gotten to a point that we think growth can be sustained at a relatively high level.”
Khor noted that the Duterte administration has sustained sound economic policies of the past and international credit rating agencies have maintained the country’s investment grade.
The AMRO report followed the credit reports of Standard and Poor (S&P) and Fitch Ratings as both retained the favorable investment grade rating of the Philippines.
On April 28, S&P affirmed its ‘BBB’ -- a notch above investment grade -- rating on a stable outlook on the Philippines.
“The ratings on the Philippines reflect our assessment of its strong external position, which features ample foreign exchange reserves and low and declining external debt,” S&P said in a statement.
Meanwhile, in its latest credit report released March 29, Fitch Ratings also kept the country's investment credit rating with a positive outlook, amid indications of continued economic growth and manageable debt levels.
The credit rating agency affirmed the Philippines' Long Term Foreign and Local Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) at "BBB-" with a positive outlook.
"The Philippines' rating reflects its continued strong and consistent growth performance, a robust net external creditor position, and government debt levels that are lower than the median of peers in the 'BBB' Ratings category," Fitch Ratings said in its report.
Abella said the decision to maintain the investment grade scores on the Philippines reflects the country's prospects in sustaining its economic momentum under President Duterte.
“The stable outlook on the Philippine economy also shows that policies continue to provide a favorable environment for sustained growth,” Abella said. (PNA)