BSP sees 6-7% economic growth in 2023 for Philippines

As far as the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is concerned, the Philippine economy will grow between 6% to 7% this year, according to a news report by BusinessWorld. By comparison, HSBC and the World Bank forecast growth rates of 4.4% and 5.4% respectively.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the BusinessWorld news article. Some parts in boldface…

THE “CONTINUED NORMALIZATION” of post-pandemic mobility will help the Philippine economy expand within the government’s 6-7% target this year, but slower growth is likely in 2024, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said.

“GDP (gross domestic product) growth is projected to settle within the DBCC’s (Development Budget Coordination Committee) target of 6-7% for 2023, but economic headwinds could result in slower GDP growth in 2024,” the BSP said in its latest Monetary Policy Report (MPR).  

“The full-year growth forecast for 2023 was adjusted upward from the previous MPR. Meanwhile, the growth forecast for 2024 is lower compared to previous round, reflecting weaker global prospects and the impact of cumulative policy rate adjustments of the BSP,” it added.  

While the central bank does not give its exact growth forecasts, the DBCC targets 6.5-8% GDP growth in 2024.

According to the central bank, the economy will be “driven by growth in the industry sector as manufacturers signal increased production plans as the economy reopens further.”  

Based on data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the service sector expanded by 9.8% in the fourth quarter last year, while the industry sector grew by 4.8%. Annually, services jumped by 9.2%, and industry expanded by 6.7%.

Better labor market conditions, higher demand for tourism, and greater economic activity due to the resumption of face-to-face classes are seen to boost growth in the services sector, the BSP said.  

“Moreover, the implementation of the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Law, Financial Institutions Strategic Transfer (FIST) Act, and the second tranche of the reduction in personal income taxes could help further bolster the domestic outlook in 2023-2024,” it added.

Meanwhile, the overall balance of supply and demand conditions, as reflected by the output gap, is expected to “remain broadly neutral” in the near term.  

“Estimates from the BSP’s Policy Analysis Model for the Philippines (PAMPh) indicate that the output gap is estimated to be slightly positive in early 2023, reflecting the sustained economic expansion in 2022,” the central bank said.  

The economy grew by 7.6% in 2022, exceeding the government’s 6.5-7.5% target, and the fastest growth since 1975.

“Thereafter, the output gap is seen to remain in broadly neutral territory as the impact of policy interest rate adjustments takes hold on the economy. A projected slowdown in global growth owing in part to tightening monetary conditions across countries could likewise dampen aggregate demand,” the BSP said.  

The Monetary Board last week increased the benchmark policy rate by 50 basis points (bps) to 6%, the highest in nearly 16 years. Rates on the overnight deposit and lending facilities were also increased to 5.5% and 6.5%, respectively.

According to analysts, higher interest rates could drag economic growth slower this year.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this recent development? Do you think the Philippines can achieve economic growth beyond 6% this year? Do you think the government should do more with post-pandemic living and economics in mind?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.


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