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Government upgrades exports targets

Elijah Felice Rosales (The Philippine Star) - July 21, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Cabinet-level Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) has upgraded its exports outlook for this year and next, pinning its hopes on a rebound in global trade as economies are lifting border restrictions.

The DBCC said it hiked the 2021 merchandise exports growth projection to 10 percent from an earlier forecast of eight percent due to the worldwide recovery in demand.

It also recalibrated its outlook for services exports, hiking its growth forecast to seven percent by 2022 from six percent earlier due to the resumption of travel and tourism and improvement in business process outsourcing receipts.

Last May, exports jumped by nearly 30 percent to $5.89 billion year-on-year as electronic products – the country’s top commodity export – registered growth of over 25 percent. In the first five months, shipments ballooned by over 21 percent to $29.35 billion.

Likewise, the DBCC revised its infrastructure spending for 2022 to P1.29 trillion or 5.8 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) from an earlier estimate of P1.25 trillion. It is expected to slow to P1.28 trillion in 2023 on changes in the national tax allotment, but would jump to P1.35 trillion in 2024.

The DBCC said infrastructure expenditure would average 5.4 percent of GDP from 2022 to 2024 with the continuity of public works buildup nationwide.

Despite the revised forecasts on exports and infrastructure spending, the DBCC maintained the economy would expand by six to seven percent this year, and by seven to nine percent next year.

The DBCC anchors these projections on expectations GDP would return to pre-pandemic levels by 2022.

The economic team said it would review growth estimates in August following the release of GDP numbers for the second quarter.

GDP in the first quarter declined by 4.2 percent, extending the recession to five consecutive quarters.

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