Lockdown remnants to block Philippines recovery after deeper fall

The Philippine economy is likely to grow slower this year after nose-diving to a deeper fall last year, trailing its peers in Southeast Asia because of expected persistent lockdowns that are likely to prevent an economic rebirth.

Gross domestic product likely slumped 9.6% year-on-year in 2020, worse than the 8.3% seen last October by the International Monetary Fund, Yongzheng Yang, the agency’s country representative, said.

Worse, a weaker bounce-back is expected. For this year, GDP is projected to grow 6.6% annually, followed by a slight deceleration to 6.5% in 2022, which would be slower despite the known benefits of election spending by that time.

The good news is that the rebound, if realized, would come from the usual prospects of infrastructure investment from the government, coupled with some private sector activity, Yang said. These, in turn, will be “supported by accommodative monetary policy and global recovery.”

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