DTI’s Lopez downplays stagflation concerns, citing ‘growth momentum’

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 18 2022 12:43 PM | Updated as of Jun 18 2022 12:57 PM

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MANILA — Outgoing Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez said Saturday that stagflation is unlikely to happen in the country, citing a rosy economic outlook.

Stagflation happens when there is slow economic growth, high inflation, and a high unemployment rate.

"Stagflation, malabo dahil nga dito sa growth momentum that we are experiencing despite the challenges," Lopez told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.

The World Bank's Philippines Economic Update in June 2022 showed that the country's economy may grow 5.7 percent in 2022 and 5.6 percent in 2023 and 2024.

"The growth outlook for the Philippines remains positive but subject to downside risks," World Bank senior economist Kevin Chua had said.

The IMF earlier said that the Asian region "faces a stagflationary outlook, with growth being lower than previously expected, and inflation being higher."

Lopez said that economic growth will continue as long as there are no lockdowns, coupled with an increasing employment rate.

Some 2.76 million Filipinos were jobless in April as the unemployment rate eased to 5.7 percent for the month, the Philippine Statistics Bureau had said.

"Ang bilis naka-recover ng economy natin, 'yung industry growth natin after the pandemic year of 2020, 2021 nag-grow na kaagad ng 8.8 percent 'yung industry, tapos 10.1 [percent] nitong first quarter," Lopez added.

"Maraming manufacturing activity meaning may trabaho rin."

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, meanwhile, also said that it does not view stagflation as an immediate risk to the Philippine economy.

The central bank said it remains optimistic that the Philippines will sustain its economic recovery. 

—TeleRadyo, June 18, 2022