CONGRESS  THINK TANK  REVISED  PROPOSED GROWTH  FORECAST DOWNWARDS

MANILA, SEPTEMBER 8, 2008
(STAR) By Iris C. Gonzales - The Congressional Planning and Budget Department (CPBD), the think-tank of the House of Representatives, has revised downward its economic growth projection for 2008 due to lingering concerns on the global economy.

“The CPBD is herewith reckoning that gross domestic product (GDP) growth would hover between a more conservative 4.6- percent to 5.1-percent range in 2008,” the CPBD said in its latest report on the proposed 2009 budget amounting to P1.415 trillion.

The CPBD’s previous GDP growth forecast for 2008 was 5.6 to six percent while the government’s latest economic projection for the year is 5.5 to 6.4 percent.

The CBPD attributed its downward revision to the adjustments made by the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) on the GDP growth for the first quarter. The NSCB revised the first quarter GDP to 4.7 percent from the preliminary figure of 5.2 percent.

In the first half of the year, GDP grew 4.6 percent, also slower than the 7.6 percent recorded in the same period last year.

Seasonally adjusted GDP accelerated to two percent in the second quarter from 0.3 percent in the previous quarter due to strong growths of the industry and agriculture sector, government data also showed.

On the other hand, CPBD said economic growth next year may be better. Nevertheless, the think-tank expects GDP growth to be lower than the official target of 6.1 to seven percent.

“An intermingling of improving global economic outlook with the mitigation of downside risks, pre-election fever prior to 2010 though tempered by internal issues and conflicts and an enduring hope for change, all might just lead to a more sanguine 2009 economic outlook hovering with the range 4.9 to 5.7 percent – still lower than the official target,” the CBPD said.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ralph Recto expects the economy to grow better in 2009 compared to this year.

For 2008, Recto said the Philippines is likely to miss the higher end of GDP growth target range of 5.5 to 6.4 percent.

Nevertheless, he said that a GDP growth of 5.5 percent for 2008 “is still respectable.”

In 2007, the Philippine economy grew by 7.2 percent.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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