Politics

GDP grew by at least 7.5% in 2022, says Diokno

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Families celebrate Christmas at Luneta Park, Dec. 25, 2022. — PHILIPPINE STAR/WALTER BOLLOZOS

THE PHILIPPINE ECONOMY likely expanded by at least 7.5% in 2022, Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said on Thursday.

“We expect the economy to have grown by at least 7.5% last year. Because of the expected slowdown of the global economy, the Philippine economy is forecasted to grow by around 6.5% this year — still one of the highest, if not the highest, growth rate in the Asia-Pacific region,” Mr. Diokno said in a transcribed speech at the 16th Asian Financial Forum (AFF) on Wednesday.

The government had set a gross domestic product (GDP) growth target of 6.5-7.5% for 2022.

Economic managers previously said the Philippines will likely exceed the GDP target after the better-than-expected 7.6% growth in the third quarter, which brought the nine-month average to 7.7%.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) is set to release fourth-quarter GDP data on Jan. 26.

“Entering 2023, the world economy faces multiple challenges — from the COVID-19 pandemic to the global supply chain crisis; from persistently high prices owing to higher energy and other commodity prices to the rapid monetary tightening in the US, Europe, and practically all economies; and from worsening poverty to threatening climate disaster,” Mr. Diokno said.

Economic managers in December revised its 2023 GDP target to 6-7%, a narrower band than the previous goal of 6.5-8%.

The World Bank on Wednesday lowered its forecast for the Philippines’ GDP to 5.4% this year, from its previous projection of 5.6% amid the looming global recession.

The 5.4% Philippine GDP forecast was the second-fastest forecast in Southeast Asia this year, behind Vietnam’s 6.3%.

“While the challenges we face today are grand and complex, these are not insurmountable. There is much we can accomplish with the right policy tools, decisive action, and commitment to global cooperation,” Mr. Diokno said.

The Finance chief said that the government’s growth and price stability objectives can be achieved “if the leaders and policy makers are able and willing to adopt the appropriate monetary and fiscal policies.” — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson