PH now Southeast Asia's economic leader, says Standard & Poor's

The Roxas Boulevard skyline in the early evening. (Yen Baet)

The Philippines has officially become the top economic leader in Southeast Asia, an American financial services company said.
Standard & Poor's (S&P), in a report released Monday,  said continued economic growth in the country has helped Philippines overtake Indonesia’s economic performance.
“The Philippines, which Standard & Poor’s recently upgraded to investment grade, has taken over the ASEAN growth leadership role from Indonesia,”  S&P Asia Pacific chief economist Paul Gruenwald said.
“We project Philippine GDP (gross domestic product) to expand by almost 7 percent this year, moderating to 6 percent to 6.5 percent in 2014 and 2015,” Gruenwald added.
He explained financing the resulting current account deficit “has become increasingly difficult” in Indonesia in spite of the country’s strong growth momentum.
The report also projected for the Philippine economy to grow by 6.9 percent this year, which is faster than other Asean economies.
S&P’s forecast also sees Philippine growth to be higher than that of China’s 7.3 percent.
S&P also sees Indonesia's GDP to grow 6.1 percent; Vietnam, 5.3 percent; and Malaysia, 5.3 percent.
“The major ASEAN economies we cover continue to outperform. These economies are more domestically focused than the Newly Industrialized Economies,” Gruenwald said.
“(They) tend to do better when global growth is sluggish,” he added.
S&P also expects growth for ASEAN as a whole to remain steady at about 5.5 percent through 2015.

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