Philippines sets higher growth targets for 2013, 2014


02:06 AM November 29th, 2012

By: Michelle V. Remo, November 29th, 2012 02:06 AM

Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan: Aiming for 6 to 7 percent in 2013 INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Confident that the economy will surpass the official growth target set for this year, the government has set more bullish growth goals for 2013 and 2014.

Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said the government would aim for the economy to grow by a range of 6 to 7 percent for in 2013, and between 6.5 and 7.5 percent in 2014.

“We expect growth of the economy to remain strong in the next two years,” Balisacan told reporters after the meeting of representatives of the interagency Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC).

Economic officials of the government see a surge in foreign investments starting next year on the back of expectation that the Philippines will finally get an investment grade rating by 2013.

Following favorable ratings revisions over the past two years, the Philippines is now rated just one notch below investment grade by all three major international credit watchdogs, namely Moody’s Investors Service, Fitch Ratings, and Standard & Poor’s.

Balisacan said the Philippines would continue recording a favorable growth story, at least in the next two years, even with the weak global economy.

The government announced Wednesday that the Philippine economy, measured in terms of gross domestic product, grew by a faster-than-expected pace of 7.1 percent in the third quarter from a year ago.

This brought the average growth for the first three quarters of this year to 6.5 percent, prompting officials to project that growth for 2012 would exceed the official target of 5 to 6 percent for this year.

Growth in the third quarter was fueled largely by household consumption, government spending, and private-sector investments.

“It is almost the end of the year, and we can say that the target of 5 to 6 percent for the full year may be exceeded. It is likely that growth for this year will settle between 6 and 7 percent,” Balisacan said.

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