Because of the effect on new variants of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), which resulted in a strict lockdown in the NCR Plus, the interagency Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) sees a slower recovery of the Philippine economy this year.
During a press conference following the 179th DBCC meeting on Tuesday, Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado said the emerging gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast for this year has been marginally changed to 6.0 to 7.0 percent from 6.5 to 7.5 percent.
He said the revised goal was set “in view of the emergence of new Covid-19 variants and the reimposition of enhanced community quarantine in the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus area during the second quarter of the year.”
The National Capital Region and provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal make up NCR Plus.
“Our growth prospects and economic recovery will be underpinned by three interventions to arrest the spread of the virus and help the poor cope with the impact of the quarantines,” Avisado added.
Next year, the economy is projected to grow by 7 to 9 percent, returning to pre-Covid-19 levels. The economy will grow by 6 to 7 percent in 2023 and 2024, according to the DBCC.
Meanwhile, the average inflation rate for the period 2021-2024 has been maintained at 2 to 4 percent.
The Philippine peso-US dollar exchange rate assumption was also revised to P48 to P53 per dollar for the years 2021-2024.
Goods exports are expected to grow by 8.0 percent in 2021 and 6.0 percent in 2022, following recent positive developments in global trade. Imports of goods are forecast to increase by 12 percent this year and 10 percent in 2022, as domestic demand recovers.
Goods exports and imports are expected to rise by 6.0 percent and 8.0 percent, respectively, from 2023 to 2024. Furthermore, for the years 2021 to 2024, the growth forecast for services exports is maintained at 6.0 percent.
Imports of services, on the other hand, are expected to increase by 7.0 percent in 2021 and by 8.0 percent from 2022 to 2024.
BY MEYNARD DELA CERNA