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Philippines’s GDP growth blasts past forecasts

Southeast Asian country’s gross domestic product expands 8.3 percent in first quarter.

The Philippines’s grew faster than expected in the first quarter,  boosting expectations of interest rate hikes to curb rising inflation, a key challenge facing the country’s newly-elected president.

The Southeast Asian country’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew 8.3 percent during the January-March period compared with a year earlier, well ahead of forecasts and faster than the 7.7 percent expansion in the previous quarter.

The expansion marked the fastest increase since the June quarter of 2021, when growth reached 12.1 percent.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the country’s central bank, holds its next policy meeting on May 19 amid growing expectations of an interest rate hike to tame rising prices that could threaten the economic recovery if left unchecked.

“This robust economic recovery coupled with above-target inflation points to policy normalisation from Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas,”  Nicholas Mapa, senior

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