Philippines’ growth for 2021-22 ‘encouraging’: NEDA

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 08 2021 10:40 AM | Updated as of Sep 08 2021 01:58 PM

MANILA - The Philippine economy’s performance this year and next year remains 'encouraging’, the country’s top economist said on Wednesday in a report to President Rodrigo Duterte. 

“Yung ating economic growth sa 2021 and 2022 remain encouraging,” said Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Chua. 

Chua, who also heads the National Economic and Development Authority, said the country can avoid the pandemic’s “long term scarring effects” if the economy grows 4 to 5 percent this year, and 7 to 9 percent in 2022. 

He said if the country achieves these growth rates, the economy can return to its pre-pandemic level by 2022 or 2023. 

Chua also said that the country was able to create 2.5 million jobs since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic before the virus’ Delta variant hit the country. 

Government economic managers lowered the growth target for the Philippines twice this year. At the start of the year, the government projected that the country would grow between 6.5 to 7.5 percent. 

In May, this target was lowered to between 6 to 7 percent, following the lockdowns imposed in late March to April to curb a second wave of COVID-19 infections. 

In August, the government further lowered this to 4 to 5 percent following a third surge of cases amid the spread of the Delta variant and another lockdown of Metro Manila, the country's most economically important region. 

The Philippines posted its worst economic contraction since World War 2 in 2020 as the government imposed one of the strictest and longest lockdowns in the world to control the virus.

The economy emerged from recession in the second quarter this year, but analysts warn that the country’s slow vaccination effort amid the spread of the Delta variant can significantly impact recovery. 

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