PBBM: Inflation remains a ‘bane’

The Central Bank has forecasted that the country’s inflation rate will decrease to 4 percent by the third or fourth quarter of this year.

While President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is elated following reports of the country’s 7.6 percent annual growth in 2022, he admitted that “inflation” keeps the nation from enjoying the benefits of the country’s growth.

“We are happy to receive the news that our growth rate for the year 2022 exceeded all expectations even by the estimates of the international financing institutions and we are holding at 7.6 percent,” Marcos said in a video message published by Malacañang on Friday.

“However, for 2023, we still have the problem of inflation which means there is still a problem of certain sectors of society and of the economy, [who] have yet to enjoy the benefits of that growth. And that’s why inflation is something that we are attending to,” he added.

The President said that his administration has been anticipating that within the end of the 2nd quarter the inflation rate would decline.

The Central Bank has forecasted that the country’s inflation rate will decrease to 4 percent by the third or fourth quarter of this year.

Meanwhile, to sustain this growth, Marcos said his administration is continuously working on attracting foreign investments.

“We must maintain, however, that growth rate and that is why it has become so important for us to go out and to attract investment into the Philippines because that is the only way for economic activity to increase and therefore to grow the economy,” Marcos said.

“So I think that we are headed in the right direction. We still have some interventions that we will have to apply,” he added.

Despite global economic headwinds, Marcos expressed optimism that the Philippines is stepping in the right direction.

On Thursday, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported that the Philippines posted a 7.6 percent full-year growth in 2022, the highest in 46 years since the country recorded an 8.8 percent growth in 1976.

The Philippine Gross Domestic Product posted a growth of 7.2 percent in the 4th quarter of 2022, resulting in a 7.6 percent full-year growth, the same report added.

In other developments, the country’s economic managers have remained in Europe to invite more European investors to do business in the country.

According to a statement by the Department of Budget and Management on Friday, the Philippine economic managers held the 2023 Philippine Economic Briefing in Frankfurt, Germany, and London, United Kingdom.

Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman, Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno, Socioeconomic Planning Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon, and Bangko Sentral Governor Felipe Medalla have been conducting the 2023 PEB — a platform they used to showcase the investment opportunities in the Philippines.

At the forum in London on Thursday, Pangandaman noted that the Philippines is “on track” to achieving economic prosperity and expressed optimism that this path would enable the country to achieve “single-digit poverty levels and upper-middle-income class status.”

She also presented the country’s national expenditure plan for this year before the British business and finance community.

With the said priority expenditures, coupled with legislative and budget reforms, the Budget chief expressed confidence that the Philippine government will not only meet but even surpass its economic targets.

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