2011 Jan 25
January 25, 2011

ASEAN to grow 5.5% in 2011, says IMF

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MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines and its Southeast Asian peers are expected to post an average growth rate of 5.5% this year, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Next year, the Asean 5 (Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam) will grow by around 5.7%, the IMF said in its latest World Economic Outlook.

The figures are slower than the 6.7% estimated growth for 2010, but faster than the forecasts for Western economies. The US is projected to grow by 2.5% this year, and the euro zone by 3%.

The IMF blamed the anticipated slowdown from 2010 to base effects. It said last year’s growth rates were unusually high coming from the global recession in 2009.

The multilateral lender also said that there are risks to growth potentials, including faster inflation due to rising world oil prices and increasing demand.

“Upward pressure on prices is expected to persist in 2011, due to continued robust demand and a sluggish supply response to tightening market conditions.”

Inflation in the Philippines settled at a benign rate of 3.8% in 2010, well within the official government target of 3.5% to 5.5%.

The country aims to keep inflation within a lower range of 3% to 5% this year. –abs-cbnNEWS.com