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Philippines: NEDA Sees GDP to Grow Up to 7 Percent This Year
Source: balita.ph
Source Date: Friday, December 24, 2010
Focus: Institution and HR Management
Country: Philippines
Created: Dec 28, 2010

The Philippines is likely exceed its economic growth target this year, but warned of a slowdown next year because of a "quite fragile" economic recovery, a senior official of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said.

In a yearend briefing, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Cayetano Paderanga told reporters that "the full year GDP [gross domestic product] growth will likely surpass the five percent to six percent target for 2010."

GDP is the total value of final goods and services produced in the country.

"But, our staff I think is rather confident that we will be between six percent to seven percent [GDP growth] this year,"he said.

The economy, as measured by GDP grew by 7.5 percent in the first three quarters, as as industry and services cushioned the decline in agriculture which was adversely affected by El Nino.

"Right, now we have a 7.5 percent growth for the first three quarters. So, we're hoping that expected softening will not be as pronounced, in second half going into the fourth quarter… We hope that the momentum will carry forward to the fourth quarter and into 2011," Paderanga said.

Paderanga is hopeful that the economy in the fourth quarter to grow at least six percent.

For 2011, Paderanga said that with the absence of election spending and the still "quite fragile global economic recovery, we expect growth to be more modest."

He also blamed the slower growth next year to the absence of the election spending that the country had this year.

However, Paderanga said with the right policies and continued confidence, "we are hopeful that we will achieve the government inter-agency Development Budget Coordination Committee’s real GDP growth target of seven percent to eight percent."

Gross national product, on the other hand, is projected to grow nine percent to 10 percent.

Paderanga, however, said that he is still optimistic that the country will achieve the seven percent to eight percent growth target next year due to the reforms that President Aquino is putting into place and the investments from the public-private partnership (PPP).

"The impact on investments for example, will take some time to really unfold. But we still hope that we will be able to have some policy changes that will bring about continued growth in the economy in 2011," he added.

For the rest of 2010 and in 2011, Paderanga said growth drivers are manufacturing sector, trade, private services, construction, personal consumption and private investments.

Paderanga, however, said the risks for next year are the continued increase in oil prices and consumer prices.

"With the Aquino Administration focusing on improving the lives of Filipinos, we are aiming for high sustained growth. The targets that have been set will sharply reduce poverty incidence and increase per capita income," Paderanga said.
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