In 2017, the Philippines was among the top three development performers in the region. Only Vietnam and China do better. The Philippine economy grew from 6.9 percent year-on-year in 2016 to 6.7 percent year-on-year in 2017. Growth was anchored in strong exports, while investment development significantly slowed and consumption growth moderated. The Philippines’ annual exports rose sharply in 2017 and became the primary engine of financial growth, while imports continued to grow by double-digits. Investment development slowed in 2017, pursuing two consecutive years of rapid development, and climbing inflation slowed real income growth and added to the moderation in private usage growth. Sustained economic growth will probably continue to donate to poverty reduction.

3.20/day, is projected to decrease from 27.0 percent in 2015 to 22.9 percent and 21.7 percent in 2018 and 2019, respectively, as economic growth remains solid. These projections would imply a continuing trend of one million Filipinos being lifted out of poverty each year. Factors which have been driving poverty reduction in the movement is included by the Philippines of employment out of agriculture, a sustained inflow of remittances, and the government’s conditional cash-transfer program.

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The country’s medium-term development outlook remains positive. The Philippine overall economy is projected to keep on its expansionary route and develop at an annual rate of 6.7 percent in both 2018 and 2019. In 2020, growth is expected to level at 6.6 percent. The economy keeps growing at its potential, making effective investment in physical and human capital essential so that the economy can continue steadily to develop along its current growth trajectory.

Investment growth depends on the government’s ability to effectively and well-timed implement its ambitious open public investment program. Moreover, the government must clarify the role of the private sector in its investment program. Domestic risks are becoming more prominent. Inflationary pressure is expected to intensify in 2018 credited to both domestic and exterior factors. The Philippine economy is also at risk of overheating.

The implementation of the public infrastructure program is essential to the country’s development perspective, as private investment is expected to weaken. Prudent fiscal management and the implementation of the government’s tax reform agenda could help secure the country’s fiscal sustainability. External risks remain present, especially the faster-than-expected policy normalization in advanced economies that could bring about financial volatility and increase capital outflows from the Philippines. Renewed protectionist sentiments in a number of advanced economies will also elevate policy doubt, which might disrupt trade and investments.

Higher real wages are essential to attain shared prosperity and inclusive growth. In recent years, the Philippine overall economy has made great strides in delivering inclusive growth, evidenced by the declining poverty rates and a dropping Gini coefficient. Unemployment has reached historic low rates, but underemployment remains high, near its 18-20 percent decade-long average. Moreover, unlike its high-performing East Asian neighbors with booming production sectors that provide large numbers of labor-intensive jobs, a majority of Filipino workers that transition out of agriculture generally end up in low-end service jobs. Thus, while employment increased between 2006 and 2015, mean wages remained stagnant, with only a four percent increase in real terms on the same period. Low job quality and sluggish growth of real wages are the missing links to raised shared prosperity.