On September 14, 2016, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded the Article IV consultation with the Philippines.
The Philippine economy has continued to perform strongly. Real GDP regained strength from a slowdown in mid2015 to record a robust 5.9 percent growth rate in 2015 and 6.9 percent in the first half of 2016. Both consumption and investment grew rapidly, while net exports were held back by weak external demand. Job creation was also strong, with the unemployment rate declining to 6.3 percent in 2015 and 6.0 percent in the first half of 2016. Inflation has remained moderate, falling below the BSP’s target band (3±1 percent) in 2015 and the first seven months of 2016 due to lower commodity prices. The external and fiscal position remained robust in 2015, with a current account surplus of 2.9 percent of GDP, gross international reserves of US$81 billion (or 11 months of imports of goods and services), a national government fiscal deficit of 1.4 percent of GDP, and general government debt at 35 percent of GDP.