The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry sees the economy falling deeper into recession to about 10 percent this year, but expects a recovery of 2 percent to 4 percent by 2021, slower than the government’s projection.
PCCI president Benedicto Yujuico said local businesses, while optimistic at the prospect of an economic rebound next year, were still wary of the gloom pervading the local setting.
Yujuico said economic improvements were not enough to sustain faster recovery even with the expected increase in consumer spending in the Christmas season.
The PCCI, however, noted the strong showing of the Philippine peso, which was expected to end at 48.20 against the US dollar this year.
“The Philippine peso has been rallying strong against the US dollar in the past few months despite the pandemic. It is one of the strongest in Asia now,” Yujuico said.
He said many businesses were complaining about the strong peso, especially exporters because a stronger currency would render Philippine exports more expensive, thereby affecting the competitiveness of exports.
Yujuico said the group’s conservative growth target of 2 percent to 4 percent in 2021 would be commensurate to the small economic stimulus that the government would provide the economy.
“Although we see the light at the end of the tunnel, we are not yet out of the COVID problem,” he said.
He said the group was relying on President Rodrigo Duterte to sign the 2021 budget to ensure the continued implementation of different projects.
The group also expects the president to sign the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises and Fiscal Institutions Strategic Transfer bills into laws.
Yujuico said the measures would help the economy recover faster in the first semester of 2021.