DBCC keeps GDP growth target

By VG Cabuag, BusinessMirror

Posted at Nov 29 2012 08:59 AM | Updated as of Nov 29 2012 10:03 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The inter-agency Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) on Wednesday slashed the growth target of the exports and imports as a result of the prevailing uncertainties in the global economic environment, but increased its goal for the balance of payments (BOP).

The DBCC slashed its exports growth to 8 percent from the previous forecast of 10 percent, while import is expected to increase just 7 percent from the previous expectation of 12 percent.

For next year, exports figures are expected to grow just 10 percent from the previous 12-percent target. Imports, meanwhile, were reduced to a growth of 12 percent for from the previous 14 percent.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, however, said the DBCC kept its gross domestic product (GDP) growth targets of 5 percent to 6 percent for the year and 6 percent to 7 percent for 2013.

“We also recognize the remaining uncertainties on external economy. But the 2012, for all practical purposes, there’s hardly little basis for changing the projections,” Balisacan said after the DBCC meeting held at the Department of Budget and Management.

He said the Aquino administration may hit its GDP target for this year, after a strong performance for the third quarter of the year.

“Given global uncertainties, it pays to be a little more conservative,” he said.

Central Bank Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo said that it expected imports to start going up “in a significant way” by next year.

Data from the National Statistics Office showed Philippine exports expanded by 7.2 percent to $40.06 billion as of September from $37.37 billion registered a year ago.

“This is also consistent with the higher forecast of economic growth for next year,” he said.

Meanwhile, the forecast of BOP, a record of the country’s transactions with the rest of the world, has been upgraded for 2012, to $6.8 billion from $2.7 billion, but the figure will go down to $3 billion to 2013.

On the other hand, foreign direct investments (FDI) are seen to reach $1.5 billion this year, from its previous forecast of $1.2 billion.

As of August, FDI reached $1.038 billion.

The FDI next year is expected to post the $2.2-billion range.

“This is based on the feedback that we get from investment promotion agencies.

We also expect new investments for 2012, and it will be channeled to manufacturing, energy and services,” Guinigundo said.