Southeast Asian Affairs 2009 Melanie S. Milo The Philippine economy started 2008 on a high note -- it had just registered its highest real GDP growth rate in three decades of 7.2 per cent in 2007, which was significantly higher than the 6.16.7 per cent target set by the government. This was attributed to spending related to the May elections, which typically bolsters consumption expenditure; government expenditure on infrastructure projects; and personal consumption expenditure, supported by overseas Filipinos' remittances.1 This despite a weakening external environment, particularly as a result of instability in U.S. and global financial markets. As in previous years of inordinately strong economic performance, the question was whether it could be sustained in 2008 and beyond. But given the domestic factors that drove growth in 2007, and the real fallout from the U.S. and eventual global financial crises, some economic slowdown was to be expected in 2008. The question was how well the Philippine economy would cope with the impending U.S. and global recession. In contrast, political controversies and disturbances that began in 2007 were carried over into 2008, in addition to those that began in earlier years. The continued strong performance of the economy despite
Southeast Asian Affairs – Institute of Southeast Asian Studies
Published: Jan 23, 2010
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