Diokno: Virus fallout could shave 0.3 point off Philippines GDP in first half

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 06 2020 03:44 PM | Updated as of Feb 06 2020 05:37 PM

MANILA - The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas on Thursday said the coronavirus outbreak in China "may only strip off up to 0.3 percentage points" from the country's economic growth in the first half.

The outbreak could slow tourist arrivals from China and remittances from Filipino expatriate workers there, Diokno said. Economic managers are aiming for 6.5 to 7.5 GDP growth for 2020. 

The outbreak is also a "downside risk" to inflation, Diokno said as it could slow economic activity and bring down prices of some goods and services. 

Diokno said other risks are infrastructure gaps, natural calamities, a slowdown in global growth, geopolitical tensions and higher tariffs.

The central bank chief reiterated his commitment to a 50 basis point cut in the benchmark interest rate this year, and to bringing down the reserve requirement ratio to single digits.

Economists expect Diokno to reduce the overnight borrowing rate by at least 25 basis points during the Monetary Board's first policy meeting for 2020 on Thursday.

- Report from Bruce Rodriguez, ABS-CBN News