2022 PH economic outlook bright

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RECOVERY of the local economy this year is seen to be driven by a wider vaccination rollout, accommodative fiscal and monetary policies, and infrastructure spending.

In a webinar organized by the Nordic Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines on Friday, Asian Development Bank Country Director for the Philippines Kelly Bird said they have upgraded their economic growth projections for the country this year to 6 percent from the previous 5.5 percent.

 Asian Development Bank Country Director Kelly Bird. FILE PHOTO
Asian Development Bank Country Director Kelly Bird. FILE PHOTO

“With the growth of 6 percent this year, we expect the Philippine economy to have fully recovered to its pre-pandemic 2019 level of GDP (gross domestic product), and we expect that to occur around the fourth quarter of this year,” Bird said.

He noted that growth drivers would include the government’s accommodative fiscal policy and sustained public spending in infrastructure, especially with spending seen to reach close to 6 percent of GDP this year.

He also underscored the role the vaccination rollout would play in the country’s rebound, as it would be crucial in restoring consumer and business confidence.

“A lot of progress has been made in vaccinating the population and this certainly is helping to provide a good foundation for recovery in 2022,” Bird said.

For his part, BDO Unibank chief market strategist Jonathan Ravelas said they are still looking at a “fragile recovery” and forecasts for the GDP to grow 6.5 percent this year.

He likewise highlighted that vaccination improved the public’s confidence.

“We’re seeing better traction on the vaccination, which has greatly improved confidence and this is one of the things that will continue to support 2022,” Ravelas said.

He also cited risks for the economy, including new virus variants, inflation, impact of geopolitics and overextended markets.