Gov't 'confident' on growth, downplays lower ADB, Fitch forecasts


Posted at Oct 01 2018 05:21 PM

A customer hands over a peso bill as he buys vegetables at a market in Manila. Ted Aljibe, AFP

MANILA - The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) on Monday said the government remains bullish on the country's economic growth, downplaying lower growth outlooks by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Fitch Solutions. 

The ADB recently lowered its Philippine growth forecast to 6.4 percent from 6.8 percent for 2018, while Fitch Solutions revised its outlook to 6.3 percent from 6.5 percent. 

"We understand the concerns of ADB and Fitch, but we remain confident about the strength and stability of the country's macroeconomic fundamentals," Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said in a statement. 

The country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew slower than expected at 6.0 percent in the second quarter. Pernia noted, however, that the country had been growing at an average of 6.4 percent in the last 8 years. 

The country's fiscal policy "remains prudent," the banking system is stable, and inflation-taming measures are priorities of the government, he said.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Thursday raised its key borrowing rates by 50 basis points, the fourth rate hike this year, in a bid to curb inflation. 

President Duterte also signed Administrative Order No. 13, removing non-tariff barriers for the importation of agricultural products to counter rising prices of goods.

-- with a report by Warren de Guzman, ABS-CBN News