From the Front Page: Local economy back on track to lead region

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With inflation finally easing, the Philippines remains on track to maintain its lead as one of the fastest-growing economies in the region, a new report from Moody’s Analytics finds. Provided that overheating risks are contained, the nation’s gross domestic product is projected to grow at a strong 6 to 7 percent in the coming years.

The banking sector is also projected to remain “stable” over the coming year, with an ample capital base and strong loan growth. Despite shifting economic environments over the years, the industry has maintained a “stable” outlook from Moody’s Investors Service since 2015.

The Philippines ranked fourth among 55 nations in terms of financial inclusion, leading Asia and trailing only three other countries in the world. The 2018 Global Microscope of the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) cited recent BSP reforms that have allowed non-banks to offer more financial services, opening up more avenues for money transfers and payments.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives approved a general tax amnesty act designed to expand the country’s tax base by bringing more tax delinquents into the fold. This is expected to add P114.8 billion in revenues to the nation’s coffers. The House Ways and Means Committee also approved a tax reform proposal to raise the excise tax of various alcohol products.




The Philippines returns to the renminbi-denominated Chinese debt market with the signing of a memorandum of understanding on “panda” bond issuance by Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III and Bank of China (BoC) chairman Chen Siqing. This was among the 29 agreements signed during the first day of China President Xi Jinping’s two-day state visit to Manila on Tuesday.