The Philippine economy likely hit the high end of its growth rate target in 2012 and would maintain a “high growth” in 2013, Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said in an interview Monday as the stock market rallied past the 6,000 mark.
Hitting the 5- to 6-percent growth target for 2012 “is no big deal,” Balisacan said, saying the economy was likely to have expanded by about 6.5 percent last year.
For the fourth quarter of 2012, he said the expansion of the gross domestic product (GDP) would definitely be higher than 4.5 percent, which was the minimum required for the Philippines to hit the higher end of the target for 2012.
Growth likely hit 6 percent in the last quarter alone, said Cid L. Terosa, economist at the University of Asia and the Pacific. At that level, full-year growth could hit 6.5 to 7 percent.
Former Budget Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno of the UP School of Economics had a slightly more conservative estimate of about 4.5 percent.
“I agree with Neda officials that this growth rate is attainable. In fact, I forecast that growth in the fourth quarter will be within the range of 4.5 percent to 5.3 percent.