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Saturday, May 18, 2024

DOF sticking to 2024 growth target range

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The Department of Finance (DOF) is confident on achieving the lower range of the 2024 economic growth target despite the modest first-quarter expansion.

Finance Secretary Ralph Recto said the 5.7-percent domestic product (GDP) increase in the first quarter was “still a good growth”, and “it’s still one of the highest.”

“But are we sticking to the target? I still think we can hit 6 percent before the end of the year because inflation is slowing down also. And we expect rising prices to start slowing down, too,” he said.

The government targets a GDP growth of 6 percent to 7 percent this year.

Recto earlier said the Philippine economy remained a frontrunner in the ASEAN region with its first-quarter performance, with the industry sector being the brightest spot driven by strong domestic manufacturing.

The Philippines grew the fastest alongside Vietnam (5.7 percent), followed by Indonesia (5.1 percent), Malaysia (3.9 percent) and Singapore (2.7 percent), he said.

“What is to be celebrated here is the encouraging growth seen in the manufacturing sector as it is the most crucial sector for long-term employment, productivity, value-added generation and innovation. This sets the course for the Philippines to become a premier manufacturing hub in Asia,” Recto said.

Meanwhile, Recto said the Monetary Board would likely keep its policy rates in its meeting on May 16.

“So far, the way I see it, unless something changes between now and then, I think more or less…maybe not this Monetary Board meeting,” Recto said.

“But it’s possible that within the end of the year, there could be a possible reduction in rates,” he said.

The Monetary Board kept the overnight borrowing rate steady at 6.5 percent for the fourth consecutive policy meeting since October 2023.

It also maintained the interest rates on overnight deposit and lending facilities at 6.0 percent and 7.0 percent, respectively.

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