MANILA, Philippines (Xinhua) – After three consecutive years of robust economic growth, the Philippine economy, one of the fastest growing in the region, will likely slow down in 2015.

In research note issued yesterday, the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corp.(HSBC) said that Philippine economy will grow at a slower pace in 2015 in anticipation of more cautious investment spending ahead of the country’s presidential election in 2016.

HSBC economist Trinh Nguyen projected that the country’s gross domestic product(GDP) growth in 2015 may decelerate to 5.4 percent from an estimated 5.7 percent in 2014.

The concern among many investors now is whether the next administration would sustain the governance reforms started by the Aquino administration, Nguyen said.

While lower spending costs arising from a benign inflation environment could keep private consumption robust, Nguyen said sluggish investment could drag down growth.

“Fiscal spending, although expected to pick up slightly, will likely fall short of the amount allotted for 2015. Therefore, we expect 2015 growth momentum to slow to 5.4 percent,” she said.

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The Philippine economy grew by 7.2 percent in 2013 and 6.8 percent in 2012. While final figures are still being tallied, government economic managers have said year-round growth in 2014 could be between 6 percent to 7 percent.



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