NEDA hopeful for economic rebound

NEDA hopeful for economic rebound

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua (PNA)

By Junex Doronio

November 2, 2021

LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu – Like seeing the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) has predicted an economic rebound with the relaxing of lockdowns.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua has predicted that downgrading Metro Manila’s lockdown restrictions to the less strict Alert Level 2 could add P3.6 billion to the economy and 16,000 jobs each week and if moved further to Alert Level 1, another P10.3 billion would be added to the economy, along with 43,000 jobs each week.

“More and more people are living with the virus from the pandemic to endemic mode. And we think this is a very good opportunity to further open the economy, accept the virus as a part and parcel of our lives, and treat it like flu that will come once in a while,” Chua said.

With the loosening of quarantine status, Finance Secretary Carlos “Sonny: Dominguez III said in an earlier press briefing that the government is retaining its lowered gross domestic product (GDP) target for 2021 as it aims for economic growth to breach 5% for the second half.

“Definitely, the DBCC (Development Budget Coordination Committee) is holding on to its target as we announced in the last meeting,” Dominguez said.

Finance Undersecretary and Chief Economist Gil S. Beltran also said at the same briefing that the economy would have to grow by 5% to 5.5% in the second half of the year to reach the full-year target.

“We are now at 3.8% (as of first half), so it should be a little above 5% to be able to meet the higher end of the target,” Beltran disclosed.

Economists noted that despite the pandemic the country’s economy grew by 11.8% in the second quarter after falling 3.9% in the first three months of the year. (ai/mtvn)

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