The Philippine economy is growing faster than anticipated at 7.6% in the first quarter of 2017.
That’s the fastest rate since 2016, when the economy grew 7.5%.
The economy’s current-account deficit, which the government wants to cut to zero by 2019, is now larger than at any time in the country’s history, the government said on Tuesday.
“We are at a point in our economic development where the country is not just in good shape but actually, in some ways, in a much better position than we were a year ago,” Philippine Economy Secretary Esmantio Aquino told reporters at the Philippine Economic Development Authority.
“There are many challenges and uncertainties but the Philippines is moving ahead.”
The Philippines, which is a member of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade bloc, is one of the fastest-growing economies in the Asia-Pacific region.
It is expected to post a 1.5% growth in 2017, the fastest in more than a decade.
The country is also set to post the fastest expansion of its economy since the late 1980s, when it added nearly 3.5 million people to its workforce.
A strong economy, a shrinking trade deficit and a booming mining sector all help push up the countrys growth.
However, Aquino said the government would like to see more private sector investment.
The Philippine government also wants to reduce its trade deficit to 5% of GDP by 2019.
But the government says it can’t do that without a strong domestic economy.
“I think that there are more challenges ahead of us.
I think the economic environment is very challenging,” Aquino added.
So, we will work to make sure that we are at least on the same footing as we were five years ago,” he said.