The National Economic and Development Authority said Monday economic growth this year may exceed the government’s growth target of 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent on the back of robust expansion in the fourth quarter.
NEDA Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said given the recent economic indicators, “we expect to see robust growth in the fourth quarter.”
Balisacan said in a news briefing the 2022 growth would likely exceed the upper limit of the target range because of the expected fourth-quarter expansion.
He said the economy posted growth of at least 7 percent for six consecutive quarters, following five quarters of contraction at the start of the pandemic in the first quarter of 2020.
“In 2022…we have thus far been able to attain an average GDP growth of 7.7 percent, which puts us on track to meet the annual 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent growth target,” he said.
He said growth in 2023 would remain strong at 6 percent to 7 percent. “Despite the headwinds we face, the economic team of the Marcos administration remains confident of our prospects in the near term. A robust domestic economy, propelled by sustained consumption and investment, will be key to attaining the 6 percent to 7 percent growth target for 2023,” he said.
“We aim to accompany this expansion with headline and food inflation rates of 2.5 percent to 4.5 percent and an unemployment rate of 5.3 percent to 6.4 percent. We expect poverty incidence to fall to about 16.2 percent in 2023 from its 2021 level of 18.1 percent,” he said.
Balisacan said consumption on the demand side and services on the supply side would continue to fuel the economy next year. “The lifting of restrictions on establishments for food and leisure, transportation facilities and tourist destinations and educational institutions supported strong spending and broadened employment opportunities,” he said.
Balisacan also shared some details of the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028 which President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as chair of the NEDA board approved on Dec. 16.
Balisacan said NEDA would work closely with the implementing agencies, Congress and other stakeholders for the implementation of PDP which would serve as the country’s roadmap for the reinvigoration of job creation and acceleration of poverty reduction in the medium term.
“The timely adoption of the PDP as the country’s development roadmap shall ensure the alignment of government resources, programs, projects, and activities along with the identified strategies that will enable us to achieve our desired socioeconomic objectives,” Balisacan said.
“In light of our limited fiscal space, I cannot overemphasize how critical coordination is to obtain the maximum impact from our policies,” he said.
NEDA assistant secretary for policy and planning Sarah Daway-Ducanes presented the salient features of the PDP 2023-2028, which seeks to address both short-term issues and medium-term constraints to growth and inclusion.
The PDP is composed of sixteen chapters covering the social and production sectors, institutions and the environment as the elements of an enabling landscape. The plan lays out the corresponding strategies including policies, programs and legislative priorities that are needed to achieve identified socioeconomic targets.
Through a whole-of-society and whole-of-government process, the plan benefited from the inputs of various stakeholders as well as those of sectoral experts.
It also features six cross-cutting strategies which will facilitate economic and social transformation. These include: the digitalization of the economy and government; the improvement of the local and global connectivity of Philippine markets; servicification or the building of service-sector ecosystems around manufacturing clusters; building a dynamic innovation system; public-private partnerships; and strong collaboration between the local and national government in light of the devolution of critical social services.
“Together, we must build on and sustain our hard-won gains as a nation. This imperative comes as we aim to recover and secure our position among the most dynamic economies of Asia and the world. Filled with hope for the coming year, we assure you of our unwavering commitment to stay the course and tirelessly work toward attaining our vision of a matatag, maginhawa, at panatag na buhay for all Filipinos,” Balisacan said.