Business & Economy

Philippine economy to grow above 7 pct this year -- NEDA

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MANILA -- The Philippines is set to grow above the government target of 6-7 percent this year, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said today.

On the sidelines of the 14th Global Development Network Annual Conference, NEDA Director-General and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said the country's gross domestic product (GDP) growth may outperform the target given that it has already expanded at a rate of 7.8 percent in the first quarter.

The second quarter looks "good" as economic fundamentals remain intact, Baliscan said.

In April and May, inflation decelerated to 2.6 percent or lower than the 3-5 percent target for the year. Manufacturing in April grew 10.3 percent.

Agriculture, however, would remain a sore spot as climate change has shifted the planting season, dampening the April jobs market.

"But for the full year, a delay in the planting in one quarter means a gain in the following quarters," Balisacan said.

He said the growth drivers for the rest of the year would be manufacturing, construction, investments, and services, especially tourism.

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