MANILA, Philippines – One of the world’s fastest growing economies is keeping its growth targets at 6% to 7% this 2013 and 6.5% to 7.5% in 2014, opting to be more conservative as global uncertainties linger.
These are lower than the stellar 7.8% the Philippines has achieved in the first quarter, even faster than China’s 7.7%.
“There are no changes in the macroeconomic targets. We decided to stay conservative,” said Budget Secretary Florencio Abad after the July 3 meeting of the interagency Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) that he chairs.
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said the move is considered “wise” given external factors. He also said the favorable domestic developments may boost the Philippines chances of exceeding the growth targets.
The country’s economic managers, who set targets and policies during DBCC meetings, noted that 3 of the top trading partners — the United States, Europe an China — still need to recover from economic crunch, or, in the case China, may be showing signs of slowing down.
The following targets were also maintained or changed:
Inflation: 3% to 5% for 2013 and 2014
Peso: average between P42 to P45 to a dollar in 2013 and 2014
Remittances: 5% growth this 2013 and another 5% in 2014
Budget deficit: kept at P238 billion for 2013 and P266.2 billion for 2014
Exports: 10% growth this 2013 and 11% in 2014
Imports: 12% growth in 2013 and 13% in 2014
Infrastructure budget: P400 billion for 2013, increasing over the years until it reaches P800 billion by 2016