PH recovery seen more tepid than anticipated
The latest economic forecasts compiled by Barcelona-based FocusEconomics have shown a less optimistic 2021 growth outlook for the Philippines averaging 4.7 percent after parts of the country reverted to the most stringent lockdown level this month.
While the updated average forecast of FocusEconomics’ economist-panelists was within the government’s downgraded 4-5 percent gross domestic product (GDP) growth target, it was below the 5.2-percent projection they had in July.
“GDP is set to move closer to prepandemic levels this year, boosted by higher exports and remittances. Nonetheless, the weak vaccination campaign and the reintroduction of restrictions mean the recovery will be more tepid than anticipated,” FocusEconomics said in an Aug. 24 report. Metro Manila and the provinces of Bataan and Laguna were again placed under the strictest enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) due to a resurgence in infections said to be caused by COVID-19’s more contagious Delta strain.
“Logistical challenges and public resistance to vaccines —especially Chinese shots—threaten to derail the vaccination program, boding ill for growth prospects ahead,” FocusEconomics said.
The sluggish mass inoculation was considered by FocusEconomics as the “key risk” to the Philippines’ near-term economic recovery prospects.
Also, “uncertainty in the run-up to next year’s elections further clouds the outlook,” FocusEconomics added.
FocusEconomics’ panelists expect the Philippines’ GDP to grow by 7 percent next year.
The government targets 7-9 percent GDP growth in 2022.
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