The state’s 4 to 5 percent gross domestic product or GDP growth target will be met for this year, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said.
“Yes. We’re sticking to that growth target and we think we’ll hit it. After all, we hit 11 and a half percent in the second quarter,” Dominguez said during a live interview on Thursday.
“We’ve seen our cases drop and we’re beginning to open up our economy,” he added.
Nevertheless, the Finance chief said that the government is looking at a lower third quarter GDP print, following the spike in Covid-19 cases from the Delta variant.
Dominguez likewise noted the success in terms of the coordination between the national and local government units amid the huge improvement in terms of death rate from the virus.
“Our death rate actually is only around 38 per 100,000 of the population and that’s much lower than other countries like the US, Belgium and similar countries,” he said.
$90 oil price ceiling
The Cabinet official expressed confidence that the government remains on course for its inflation target of 2 to 4 percent as long as oil prices remain below their expected price of $90 per barrel.
“We are a bit over target this year and we’ve identified the cause and it’s the shortage of pork…of course we’re facing increasing fuel prices but our estimates are that our inflation target will hold as long as fuel prices stay below $90 per barrel,” Dominguez explained.
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno shared the same sentiment as he noted that the recent rise in inflation level is not a “cause for worry.”
“BSP has a pretty good track record on inflation targeting and we’re fairly confident that the slight increase in terms of inflation compared to our target is not a cause for worry,” Diokno said.
“If you look at the number of items that are below 2 percent… they are much more than the items that are above 4 percent, which means there are only a few items that are beyond the target,” he added.