Covid vaccine availability to aid PH economic recovery

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The availability of vaccines for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) can help aid
the recovery of the Philippine economy next year, according to Finance
Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd.

In an interview with Bloomberg TV on Tuesday, Dominguez added the
economy was in a strong position at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and
“green shoots” are now coming out after the country’s gross domestic product
dropped in the first three quarters of the current year.

“We are having difficulty, of course, due to the contagion, with re-stimulating
people’s demand. People are very cautious about getting sick and, therefore, are
holding back on spending. But we believe that we are on the right track and we
will see a better performance in the last quarter of this year,” he said.

“And as a result of that, we do expect a big bounce back in our GDP (gross
domestic product) growth next year,” Dominguez added.

To recall, the country’s GDP plunged by 16.9 percent in the second quarter of
the current year, placing the Philippine economy in a recession. First quarter

GDP was down 9 percent and third quarter’s dropped by 11.5 percent.
The country’s economic managers forecast this year’s GDP growth to range
from –5 to –9 percent. Meanwhile, forecast for next year’s GDP growth is from
6.5 to 7.5 percent.

Optimism towards the development of a Covid-19 vaccine was evidenced on
Tuesday by domestic stocks.

After a three-day slide, the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) rose 0.59
percent, or 41.09 points, to 6,959.14 points primarily on news that US-based
drug firm Moderna has developed a Covid-19 vaccine with 94.5-percent
effectiveness.

“The PSEi along with other regional markets jumped after preliminary
coronavirus vaccine data from Moderna further lifted expectations of a strong
economic recovery,” said Luis Limlingan, Regina Capital Development
Corporation head of sales. CURRENTPH

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