By Vanessa Ko for CNN
12 July 2012
Hong Kong (CNN) -- As emerging markets slump and the euro zone continues to struggle, the Philippine economy made a surprising surge in the first part of this year.
The slowdowns in BRIC countries, China in particular, are feared to drag down the global economy. But in the first quarter of 2012, the Philippine economy grew 6.4%, the fastest since 2010 and already far outpacing the International Monetary Fund's forecast growth of 3.5% for this year.
The growth surge was driven in part by a recovery of electronics exports after a decline in demand last year, while analysts say the economy was buoyed by strong domestic consumption.
It is the money sent home to the Philippines by its overseas workers, known as remittances, and the rise of outsourced call centers that serve as the long-term stabilizers relatively unhindered by a sagging global economy, according to analysts.
"About 70% of our economy is from consumption, so remittance is the key fuel behind that," said Haj Narvaez, Manila-based head of research for the Philippines at Credit-Suisse. "It drives consumption in malls. Even on the property side, the government estimates a third of remittances go into home purchases and rentals of properties."
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