MANILA, Philippines – The government sees a subdued but steady growth for the Philippines this year with volatile oil prices and the El Niño phenomenon posing the biggest threats to the economy, an official said yesterday.
National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Director Dennis Arroyo, however, said the benefits of the economic growth drivers are more than enough to offset the threats.
The government has projected a conservative 2.6 percent to 3.6 percent gross domestic product (GDP) for the country in 2010, lower than that forecasts for multilateral agencies as well as international and local financial institutions, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
“The global economy is still fragile. We’re out of the ICU but the recovery is fragile so I used the word subdued growth,” Arroyo told a news briefing at Malacañang.
Battered by the global recession and powerful storms, the economy grew by 0.9 percent last year, the slowest pace in 11 years. Foreign economists however acknowledged the resiliency of the Philippine economy allowed it to continue to grow despite the global crisis that saw two-thirds of the world’s economies in recession.
Arroyo however said economic managers have already taken into account the effects of the threats to the economy that is why the GDP projections are lower than those of private foreign and local institutions. –Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star)