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VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Marcos, DOF falsely claim PH leads GDP growth forecast in Asia

The Philippine economy is leading all Asian countries in the growth of projected gross domestic product based on the International Monetary Fund report in April.

False

The Philippines does not have the highest projected GDP growth among Asian countries. It ranks fourth in the IMF’s 30 emerging and developing economies in the region, with a projected GDP growth of 6%. Palau holds the top spot with 8.7%, followed by Maldives with 7.2%.

In at least two social media posts, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. claimed that the Philippine economy is leading all Asian countries in the growth of projected gross domestic product (GDP) based on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) report in April. This is false.

STATEMENT

The president posted a photo of the Philippines’ GDP growth forecast compared to Asian countries which bore the caption:

Nangunguna ang ekonomiya ng Pilipinas sa buong Asya sa 6% nitong projected GDP growth ayon sa World Economic Outlook na inilabas ng International Monetary Fund nitong Abril.”

(The Philippine economy is leading in all of Asia with a 6% projected GDP growth based on the World Economic Outlook that the International Monetary Fund published this April.)

 

Source: Bongbong Marcos’ official Facebook and Twitter accounts, Nangunguna ang ekonomiya… (archived links), April 21, 2023

The Department of Finance published a similar tweet two days later:

“In its WEO (April 2023), the IMF raised the country’s growth forecast from 5% to 6% — the highest in Asia — and lowered the global growth projection from 2.9% to 2.8%.”

 

Source: Department of Finance official Twitter account, The @IMFNews expects… (archived), April 23, 2023

On April 20, VERA Files Fact Check noted the same post in the president’s Twitter account that labeled India and China as members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). It has since been deleted.

FACT

Contrary to the claim, the Philippines does not have the highest projected GDP growth among Asian countries. It ranks fourth in the IMF’s 30 emerging and developing economies in the region, with a projected GDP growth of 6%. Palau holds the top spot with  8.7%, followed by Maldives with 7.2%.

While the Philippines leads ASEAN members in terms of estimated GDP growth this year, IMF projections show that in 2024, the  economy  will slow down to 5.8% growth.

Made with Flourish

India and China are not members of the ASEAN nor have they been among the founding states of the group.

BACKSTORY

The IMF revised the Philippines’ 2023 projected GDP growth to 6% in April, from 5.0% in January this year.

The increase could be attributed to China’s reopening of its economy, which would benefit the Philippines, said Krishna Srinivasan, director of IMF’s Asia-Pacific Department.

However, the IMF lowered its global GDP growth outlook to 2.8%, from 2.9% in its previous forecast in late January. It foresees growth to settle at 3.0% by 2028, which the fund describes as “the lowest medium-term forecast in decades.”

 

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Sources

Bongbong Marcos’ official Facebook and Twitter accounts, Nangunguna ang ekonomiya…, April 21, 2023

Department of Finance official Twitter account, The @IMFNews expects…, April 23, 2023

Bongbong Marcos’ official Twitter account, Lalo pa nating…, April 20, 2023

Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), About ASEAN, Accessed April 26, 2023

International Monetary Fund, Emerging and Developing Economies in Asia, April 11, 2023

International Monetary Fund, Database—WEO Groups and Aggregates Information, October 2021

Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), ASEAN member states, Accessed April 26, 2023

Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), History: The Founding of ASEAN, Accessed April 26, 2023

Backstory

 

(Guided by the code of principles of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, VERA Files tracks the false claims, flip-flops, misleading statements of public officials and figures, and debunks them with factual evidence. Find out more about this initiative and our methodology.)