BAGUIO CITY: Increased spending and higher remittances from Filipino workers abroad would offset a projected cut in the country’s economic output, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) chief said Tuesday.
Acting Economic Planning Secretary Augusto Santos warned that the Philippines might not realize its full economic growth target this year owing to the global financial crisis and the calamities that hit the country in the last quarter of the year.
But he added that Filipinos could still expect better economic condition next year as major global economies are rebounding from recession and the Philippines is recovering from the effects of recent calamites.
The government eyes 0.8 to 1.8 percent economic growth this year, he said.
Santos reported that from January to September, economic growth stood at 0.7 percent. For next year, the government expects the economy to grow by 2.6 to 3.6 percent.
Finance Secretary Margarito Teves said the country would likely end the year with a P290-billion budget gap because of declining tax revenues and unrealized gains from the sale of government assets. The deficit could worsen next year to P293 billion, he said.
Teves reported that by the end of November, the budget gap stood at P272.5 billion, already worse than the P250-billion program for the year. He noted that given the poor fiscal performance in the past 11 months, the country could have P300-billion deficit by yearend. –ANGELO S. SAMONTE REPORTER, Manila Times