Farmer Rene Ravalo loads coconuts onto a truck in the Philippines for the 30-minute trip to market on a road built last year. It previously took half a day for a water buffalo to inch the goods down a mountain track.
The Philippine economy grew more than economists estimated as higher public spending and consumption spurred the strongest six-month performance since the 2010 bounce-back from the global crisis. The peso gained.
Thailand’s central bank voted to cut interest rates four days after Governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul said no easing was needed, adding to evidence Asia’s outlook has worsened and supporting a government push to shore up growth.
Central banks in Southeast Asia may be forced to abandon this year’s monetary easing and raise interest rates before their north Asian peers in 2013, as rising inflation risks overshadow the current economic gloom.