Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said on Wednesday, Dec. 15, that the country’s economic output, as measured by gross domestic product (GDP), has exceeded their expectations in 2021.
“Our year-to-date growth is presently, up to the end of September, is 4.9 percent. So, there’s a greater likelihood that our full year growth will hit the revised target of our GDP growth ranging from 5.0 percent to 5.5 percent this year,” Dominguez told reporters.
The economy should expand by at least 7.0 percent in the final three-months to meet the new GDP goal, he said. Finance Undersecretary and Chief Economist Gil S. Beltran also said a 7.0 percent expansion pace during the October to December period is “doable”.
“So far, we only have number for October for the [volume of production] manufacturing sector and it’s 24.7 percent up. Because we have further open the market, I think the the growth rate will be sustained,” Beltran said.
Late Tuesday, the inter-agency Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) adjusted upwards its growth assumption for this year to between 5.0 percent and 5.5 percent from 4.0 percent to 5.0 percent.
“As we continuously relax restrictions and increase mobility, economic performance is expected to accelerate further in the last quarter of the year,” said the DBCC, which sets the country’s macroeconomic targets, said in a joint statement.
Meanwhile, economic growth targets for the medium-term were retained at 7.0 percent to 9.0 percent for 2022 and at 6.0 percent to 7.0 percent by 2023 and 2024.
“With our strong economic performance in 2021, the DBCC is optimistic that the country’s GDP will return to its pre-pandemic level by 2022,” the committee said.
The DBCC attributed its rosy economic prospects to the government’s accelerated COVID-19 vaccination drive, which has enabled the safe and targeted reopening of the economy.
Dominguez said the government will solidify the country’s recovery from the pandemic by reopening further the economy through the lowering of quarantine alert status from Level 2 to Level 1 by January 2022.
“At the same time to avert long term productivity losses and restore more employment we will resume face-t-face schooling most likely in January 2022, increase public transport capacity for all types of transport to 100% and relax restrictions,” Dominguez said.
“Next year, we are confident that we will reach our GDP growth target of 7 to 9.0 percent as the numbers are now all in our favor. This growth target is higher than our pre-pandemic growth rate of an average of six percent,” he added.
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