September 1, 2015 / 5:41 AM / 2 years ago

Philippine electronics body slashes 2015 growth forecast

MANILA, Sept 1 (Reuters) - Philippine electronic exports this year will probably be weaker than previously thought as demand from major trading partners remain sluggish, an electronics industry group said on Tuesday.

The Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines (SEIPI) slashed its 2015 exports growth forecast to 0-4 percent from the 3-5 percent estimate made in July. It originally projected a 5-7 percent growth this year.

"(The forecast) is driven by weak global economy led by China. The United States and Japan have not recovered either," Dan Lachica, president of SEIPI, said in an email.

The downturn in China, the Philippines' third-biggest export market, has hit many Asian economies reliant on shipments to the world's second-biggest economy.

Electronic exports make up around two-fifths of the Philippines' total shipments, so the bleaker outlook posed a risk to overall economic growth.

Manila is targeting a GDP growth of 7-8 percent this year, but Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan has said a more realistic goal would be between 6-6.5 percent, citing risks from El Nino weather pattern and sluggish exports.

SEIPI encompasses more than 200 semiconductors and electronics manufacturers including units of Samsung Electronics and Texas Instruments. (Reporting by Karen Lema; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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