MANILA, Philippines—Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan said the Philippine economy could still grow as projected, even as economists expressed concern over sluggish global trade and its effects on economic output.
“We believe we have ample space for domestically driven expansion to make up for the impact of the sluggish global growth on the economy. There are also growth drivers that are resilient to global shocks, such as BPOs [business process outsourcing firms] and agro-based exports,” Balisacan said in a text message to the Inquirer.
At a recent economic briefing, Balisacan said it was still possible for the country to hit the higher end of the GDP target given the domestic economy’s growth momentum.
The World Trade Organization has reported that a slowing global production had led WTO economists to downgrade their 2012 forecast for world trade expansion to 2.5 percent from 3.7 percent and their 2013 estimate to 4.5 percent from 5.6 percent.
“In an increasingly interdependent world, economic shocks in one region can quickly spread to others. Recently announced measures to reinforce the euro and boost growth in the United States are therefore extremely welcome,” WTO Director General Pascal Lamy said in a statement.
The Philippines might miss its exports growth target this year due a strong peso and weaker-than-expected global trade, University of the Philippines economist Benjamin E. Diokno, said in a text message.
“A 5.5-percent GDP [gross domestic production] growth is likely assuming a less severe El Niño in the fourth quarter and no extreme weather disturbance between now and rest of the year. Two major risk factors: the strong peso and the ability of the government to implement programs and projects authorized in the 2012 budget,” Diokno said.