Growth target still achievable despite Typhoon Karding – NEDA

Louella Desiderio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The country’s economic growth target for the year remains within reach despite the damage caused by Typhoon Karding, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

“We are thankful Karding (Noru), which whipped the belly of the Philippine economy (Luzon’s landmass), was not Ondoy, Ulysses or Yolanda. Still, damage appeared considerable, though not likely at a level that would make us kiss goodbye to our growth target for this year,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said in a tweet yesterday.

Last July, the inter-agency body Development Budget Coordination Committee, which sets the government’s macroeconomic assumptions, lowered the gross domestic product (GDP) growth goal for this year to 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent, from an earlier goal of seven percent to eight percent.

Initially, the government set a seven percent to nine percent GDP growth target for the year.

The revision in the GDP target was made amid external and domestic developments, which include rising oil and commodity prices due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

In the first semester, the country’s economic growth stood at 7.8 percent.

This came after the economy expanded by 8.2 percent and 7.4 percent in the first and second quarters, respectively.

The Department of Agriculture said the agricultural damage from Typhoon Karding was estimated at P160 million as of Sept.26.

The damage translates to production loss of 7,457 metric tons of rice, corn, high-value crops and fisheries.

Earlier this month, the NEDA said it was optimistic the country would achieve growth targets this year, even as there are challenges such as inflationary pressures, slowdown in global demand and limited fiscal space.

Balisacan said consumption and investments are expected to drive economic growth.

According to data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, household consumption growth rose to 8.6 percent in the second quarter, resulting in a 9.3-percent average growth rate for the first semester.

Investment, meanwhile, increased by an average of 12.6 percent in the first half.

Balisacan said the prospects for growth in the near term are bright given the reopening of the economy, investment confidence, return of domestic and foreign tourism, as well as greater business activity from the resumption of face-to-face classes.


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