MANILA - The Asian Development Bank on Tuesday raised its economic growth outlook for the Philippines in 2021 and 2022 as it remains on a "steady growth path" due to the vaccination program and declining COVID-19 cases.
The Philippine economy could grow by 5.1 percent in 2021 and 6 percent in 2022, higher compared to the September estimates of 4.5 percent and 5.5 percent, respectively, the multilateral lender said in a statement.
“The Philippine economy has shown impressive resilience,” said ADB Philippines Country Director Kelly Bird.
“Growth momentum has clearly picked up on the back of the government’s vigorous drive to vaccinate Filipinos against the COVID-19 virus. Public spending on infrastructure and continued vaccination of the population will help the country further accelerate its recovery in 2022," Bird added.
The economy plunged 9.6 percent in 2020 due to the pandemic in its worst performance since the end of World War 2. It has gradually improved as restrictions ease.
Third-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth was at 7.1 percent.
The Philippines aims to inoculate at least 70 percent of its population by the end of the year. At least 39.5 million have been fully vaccinated as of Dec. 8.
ADB, along with the World Bank and other developed countries, is helping the country replenish its vaccine supply.
The ADB on Monday approved another $250 million loan to help the country secure more jabs for children and for booster shots of qualified adults.
The inflation outlook, however, was also slightly raised to 4.4 percent and 3.7 percent due to rising fuel, compared to the earlier forecast of 4.1 percent in 2021 and 3.5 percent in 2022, respectively, the ADB said.
Inflation eased to its 4-month low of 4.2 percent in November, still slightly above the government target of 2 to 4 percent range.
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua earlier said the country could revert back to its robust pre-pandemic growth level next year.
The Philippine economy has been growing by an average of 6 percent before the COVID-19 pandemic.
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