MANILA, Philippines - The economy could grow faster than the government's target of 5 to 6% this year, with growth expected to strengthen to at least 7% in 2011, the economic planning secretary said on Thursday.
Cayetano Paderanga said given a benign outlook for inflation over the rest of the year, the central bank may hold rates steady at a record low of 4%t.
"We're hopeful of going above 6%," Paderanga, who is concurrent director-general of the National Economic and Development Authority said of of the outlook for growth this year during an interview in his Manila office.
Data on Thursday showed annual inflation in July came in at 3.9%, which the central bank said showed current monetary policy settings were appropriate.
The government has set a growth target of 7 to 8% for 2011. Growth above 7.1% would be the fastest in 35 years.