GDP growth slows to 6.2%; Palace blames high inflation
Malacañang on Thursday blamed the economy’s slower expansion in 2018 on last year’s high inflation after the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) posted a below-expectation 6.2-percent growth.
The Palace is not dismayed with the results, however, and said it would only push the Duterte administration to work harder to achieve its target.
“That was because of the inflation; the inflation rate was the problem. That’s what our economic managers said,” presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said at a press briefing.
“You always have a concern when you don’t reach a certain target. But you work harder so that you can reach it the next time,” he added.
Slowest in 3 years
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on Thursday said the country’s GDP grew by 6.2 percent in 2018, its slowest in the past three years.
The PSA attributed this to the sluggish growth in the agricultural and manufacturing sectors, among other factors.
The Duterte administration’s economic managers earlier projected a growth target of 6.5 to 6.9 percent for 2018.
But Panelo said last year’s GDP was still good, considering the factors that affected the economy.
“I think that’s an OK figure, definitely OK. Considering the circumstances surrounding the economy … If there was no [high] inflation rate, we would have exceeded the target,” he said.
“If you have a target that you did not meet, of course you’re disappointed. But it doesn’t mean that you feel you’re such a failure. You work harder so you can reach your target,” he added.
The country’s economic managers, he said, are “very confident that we are on the right track” this year, and that “the best is yet to come” for the Philippine economy.
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