PBBM: Inflation outlook in the Philippines better than other countries

PBBM: Inflation outlook in the Philippines better than other countries

President Ferdinand R. Marcos said Tuesday that the Philippines' inflation outlook is better than other countries. Photo: OPS/PND

President Ferdinand R. Marcos eased concerns about rising inflation rates on Tuesday, noting that the Philippines' overall inflation forecast remains lower than that of other countries.

"We may have to defend the Peso in the coming months," the President said in a post. "But the overall forecast is that we are still doing better than other countries in terms of inflation, even though economic developments are still expected," he added.

In its Asian Development Outlook 2022 update, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) projects that the country's inflation rate will reach 5.3% in 2022 and 4.3% in 2023.

In Southeast Asia, the ADB forecasts 2022 inflation rates of 17 percent in Lao People's Democratic Republic, 16 percent in Myanmar, and 7.4 percent in Timor-Leste.

Meanwhile, the regional development bank predicts that the country's GDP will grow by 6.5 percent in 2022 and 6.3 percent in 2023.

Economy's prospects remain promising

Arsenio Balisacan, Director-General of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary, has noted recent developments in the global economy that have accelerated issues, such as the cessation of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, which remains uncertain, and the calamities that have dampened agricultural production in many countries, including the Philippines.

"As a result, global inflation has remained persistently high, driven by rapid price increases in food, transportation, and energy," Balisacan said in a press conference.

"The Philippines and our Asian neighbors are not immune to these trends; major ASEAN economies like Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia have seen their inflation rates accelerate in the last year," he added.

However, Balisacan stated that the country's economic prospects "remain bright as we get our priorities straight and our acts in order."

Balisacan cited the World Bank's recently released October forecast for 2022 and 2023, which predicts growth of 6.5 percent in 2022, second only to Vietnam among major ASEAN economies, and 5.8 percent in 2023, faster than Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand.

Furthermore, ADB and the ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO) forecast that Philippine economic growth will remain robust in 2022 and 2023, with the economy growing by 6.5 percent to 6.9 percent in 2022 and 6.3 percent in 2023.

Meanwhile, a Cabinet official described the country's employment statistics as "encouraging."

The unemployment rate dropped from 8.1 percent in August 2021 to 5.3 percent in August 2022, while labor force participation rose from 63.6 percent to 66.1 percent.

These figures, according to Balisacan, show that the "opening or reopening of the economy has the intended effects."

The Chief Executive met with his economic team on Tuesday to discuss policy directions for the rest of the year and the first quarter of next year, with inflation being the "number one priority." —iTacloban (Source: PND/OPS)

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