Upward revisions for GDP targets for 2009, 2010 'possible,' says acting NEDA chief

September 2, 2009 11:50 am 

MANILA, Sept. 2 — Philippine economic managers are likely to revise upward the economic growth target this year and next year, acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Augusto B. Santos said.

According to Santos, the technical working group of the Development Budget and Coordinating Committee (DBCC) is reviewing the gross domestic product (GDP) targets this year and the following year, and an upward revisions are "possible."

An indicator of economic performance, GDP is the amount of final goods and services produced in a country.

The government targets of between 0.8 percent and 1.8 percent GDP growth this year and 2.6 percent to 3.6 percent next year.

The acting National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) chief attributed the upward revisions to the lower consumer prices, government expenditures and early election spending.

He said that the "better-than-expected second quarter economic performance" is also a factor for the upward revisions.

In the second quarter, GDP expanded by 1.5 percent from the revised 0.59 percent growth in the first quarter. From April to June last year, the economy grew by 4.2 percent.

From January to June, the economy grew 1 percent from 4 percent in the same period last year.

The economy's growth was supported by the services and agriculture sectors, which expanded by 3.1 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively.

The industry sector was still in contraction with 0.3 percent, mainly due to manufacturing.

Earlier, NEDA's National Planning and Policy Staff head Dennis Arroyo said the 0.8 percent to 1.8 percent GDP growth target is "easy to breach."

Arroyo added that the early election-related spending would also help boost the economy this year and is expected to contribute more next year.

He noted that in the 2007 elections, it contributed about 0.34 percent to the economy.

Santos, on the other hand, said the key growth drivers for 2009 are trade, business process outsourcing (BPO), construction, mining and quarrying, private and government services. (PNA) scs/DGA/utb

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