By Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson, Reporter
The Philippine economic growth is expected to slow to 5.5% this year amid global headwinds and persistently high inflation, the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) said in its latest report.
“Post-pandemic economic growth in developing Asian and Pacific (APAC) countries weakened considerably in 2022 and is expected to remain weak in 2023, amid the global economic slowdown, unprecedented inflation and uncertainty brought about by the war in Ukraine,” Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, Under-Secretary-General of United Nations and ESCAP Executive Secretary said in the “Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2023” report.
ESCAP’s latest estimate is lower than the 6.7% gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast it gave in April last year. This is also below the government’s 6-7% target and slower than the 7.6% expansion in 2022.
Based on ESCAP’s estimates, the Philippines will be the second-fastest growing economy in Southeast Asia this year, alongside Cambodia (5.5%) and just behind Vietnam (6.3%).
“The overall economic performance in developing countries in APAC is likely to remain weak in 2023 to 2024 amid global economic slowdown, elevated inflation across the board and war-induced uncertainty,” Hamza Ali Malik, ESCAP director of the Macroeconomic Policy and Financing for Development division, said in a virtual briefing discussing the report on Wednesday.
For 2024, ESCAP sees the Philippine economy expanding by 5.7%, below the 6.5-8% target set by the government.
Meanwhile, ESCAP sees Philippine inflation at 4.3% this year, higher than its earlier forecast of 3%. It expects inflation to ease to 3% in 2024.
The central bank forecasts that full-year inflation will average 6% this year, before slowing to 2.9% in 2024.
“The impact of higher interest rates in controlling the elevated rate of inflation is not expected to materialize fully in 2023….
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