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Friday, July 26, 2024

Recto wants ‘more realistic’ growth targets until 2028

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The economic managers plan to reduce the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth targets until 2028, according to Finance Secretary Ralph Recto.

“I think we should come out with something more realistic not only this year, but [also] for the medium term until 2028, because if we project a very high GDP, projecting a very high revenue, and if you miss it, your deficit will increase and your debt-to-GDP [ratio] will also increase,” Recto said on the sidelines of the Economic Journalists Association of the Philippines (EJAP) 2024 board of directors’ induction Thursday evening.

“So, I think we should be responsible for that. Nevertheless, we pushed the BIR [Bureau of Internal Revenue], the Customs and the Treasury to collect more.  We will adjust the GDP down, but we will ask the BIR and the BOC to do more,” he said,

The Development Budget Coordination Committee in its December 2023 meeting lowered the growth target for 2024 to between 6.5 percent and 7.5 percent from the previous range of 6.5 percent to 8 percent, while  retaining the 6.5 percent to 8 percent growth assumption for 2025 to 2028.

Data from the Philippine  Statistics Authority showed that the Philippine economy expanded 5.6 percent in 2023, below the government’s target range of 6 percent to 8 percent and the actual growth of 7.6 percent registered in 2022.

Recto said a 6-percent GDP growth is a “good number” for 2024.  “Aspirational, I think we should hit 6.5 percent,” he said.

“Realistic is 6 percent, but we will endeavor to hit 6.5 percent.  That’s how I’m looking at it,” he said.

Recto also expects inflation in March to reach 3.9 percent, or within the government’s target range of 2 percent to 4 percent.

“It’s gonna be a bumpy road, but I think it’s still within the band,” he added.

The PSA reported that inflation rate in February picked up to 3.4 percent from 2.8 percent in January, on higher food, beverage and transport prices.

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